That is, if you’re a big manufacturer who used to race Le Mans or would like to have a crack at another LMP1 programme because the last time you did it, you sucked.
7.12 - New entrant sporting adaptations | For a new entrant in the Manufacturer’s World Endurance Championship (LMP1 Hybrid), a manufacturer may have some technical waivers. This manufacturer should compile a complete dossier stipulating that it did not benefit from any data from any of the LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers having competed in previous WEC seasons (up to 5 years preceding the first year of competition of the new entrant). This dossier will be reviewed by the Endurance Commission to evaluate if the manufacturer should benefit from those waivers.
The waivers for the first year are indicated in the following list:
- Specific allocation of fuel (energy per lap and/or maximum fuel flow) to reach 98% of the best in class ICE performance.
- The best in class ICE performance will be calculated based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans performance of the preceding year. The performance of the new entrant will linmbe assessed by declaration. The new entrant would be subject to a penalty if the declaration is found to be incorrect.
- No limitations on ICE quantity for the championship .
- One possible change of hybrid class during the first season.
- No limitation on the number of bodyworks.
- However, the new entrant should follow the same homologation forms and deadlines as for any other EVO.
- For the 6 hours races : maximum number of tyres increased to 24 for the qualifying and race.
- Limitation on wind tunnel hours increased to 150% of that imposed on the other manufacturers.
- No limitations on private testing. For the second year, the new entrant may still be subject to technical waivers. This will be reviewed by the Endurance Commission to assess whether the manufacturer should benefit from those waivers. The waivers for the second year are indicated in the following list:
- Specific allocation of fuel to reach (100-A%)/2 of best in class ICE performance. The best in class ICE performance will be calculated based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans performance of the preceding year. The performance of the new entrant (A%) will be assessed by declaration. The new entrant would be subject to a penalty if the declaration is found to be incorrect.
- Allocation of 1 more ICE than other manufacturers.
- The manufacturer may change ERS (once) during the second year and therefore all related homologated documents.
Version to be validated by the WMSC of 09.03.2017
We have seen in plenty series that if you make such changes it can get very difficult to track things (for both the manufactuers and viewers) and it creates a rather difficult atmosphere, as rewards for proper development shrink.
The opposite, actually. The only example of this sort of regulation has been in MotoGP. The governing body granted some waivers to new manufacturers with the same sort of things: more engines during the season, more fuel during a race, more testing days etcetera. It led to Suzuki coming back in 2015 and, with those waivers, they managed to be somewhat competitive. They also managed to develop a good baseline bike and in 2016 won their first race since coming back, already having lost some concessions. I think by now they are on equal footing with the other manufacturers.
This rule also attracted back Aprillia who are struggling a bit more and KTM is coming back this year.
So it can work, and you can avoid the potential political situation by playing the marketing card: if you come in and fail to be competitive even with all the concessions are you capable of building a good car?
So, well, here we are. If you are a manufacturer who wants to race in this class but are worried that you would suck and get broke doing so, the ACO is giving you wiggle room.
If you want, you can read the entirety of the Sporting and Technical Regulations here, if you have the free time for that. Helps a lot if you wanna race.