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24 Hours of Le Mans

FIA WEC: Rule Changes Introduced to Spice Up LM P1

Rule Changes Introduced to Spice Up LM P1 Manufacturer’s World Title in 2012

In a change to the original FIA World Endurance Championship regulations issued in December, only the highest finishing car in LM P1 will score championship points for the Manufacturer’s World Title at each of the eight rounds in 2012 and only the six best scores, which must include the points scored at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, will count towards the title. This means that Toyota, who are entering the Championship at Spa in May, will be able to take the challenge to Audi in 2012.

“The changes were requested following the withdrawal of Peugeot from the FIA World Endurance Championship last month and were agreed by all parties,” said FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu. “The changes will allow Toyota, who have brought forward their participation in the championship to round 2 in Spa, to fight with Audi for the inaugural World Endurance Championship Manufacturer’s title.

“These changes to the regulations will certainly make the 2012 season more exciting for both teams and spectators alike.”

The changes were agreed by the FIA Endurance Commission and ratified by the FIA World Council.

The regulations regarding the FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship and the other titles are unchanged.

With 30 confirmed entries for 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship will start in Florida on March 17 with the 60th edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the world’s leading endurance races. The FIA WEC will also visit Belgium, France, UK, Brazil, Bahrain, Japan and China.

Discussion

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  1. It’s been said Honda were approached to make the HPD’s official manufactuer cars, but they aren’t yet ready to make that step.

    I expect the ACO will now be working on not only bringing full manufactuer teams in, but also convincing manufactuers to register for future championships even if they’re only an engine supplier (Nissan?), even a re-badged Lotus.

    The likes of Rebellion, JRM, Strakka, Starworks, Kolles etc. have made it clear they’d welcome greater links with manufactuers.

    Posted by JAG | February 15, 2012, 17:32
  2. Theese championship regulations are really bad for the Lmp1 privater teams as i see it.

    What is the big idea to join WEC for teams like Pescarollo there inst a manufacture?

    Posted by Ornqiraj | February 16, 2012, 0:41
  3. Is Le Mans double points like last year?

    Posted by Paul | February 16, 2012, 12:06
  4. @Ornqiraj: Sort of agree. I guess for the private teams, the drivers’ championship sort of becomes the main championship since there is no teams’ championship (teams’ and drivers’ would be pointless, imho). Maybe the manufacturers’ championship should be more like constructors’ championship, but due the many combinations of chassis and engine, it might get problematic.

    @Paul: yes.

    Posted by WroomWroom | February 16, 2012, 14:10
  5. There is a title for the best privateer in all classes, but the major incentive for the likes of Pescarolo is to beat the factories in big races, and ultimately represent a manufactuer themselves, like Joest and ORECA. Looking back through history the privateers who are remembered are those who took on the best, not neccessarily beating them, but making an impression.

    Posted by JAG | February 17, 2012, 2:18
  6. So they are making tweaks to suit the Toyota squad. What if the JRM Acura ends up besting the Toyota? They should thinks about that as well. Just because the Acuras are not factory teams doesn’t mean they should be overlooked.

    Posted by Bamba | February 17, 2012, 7:17
  7. The changes are for the good of the championship and what they could look into in the future is having a privateer cup for each class (LMP1, LMP2, GTE-Pro, GTE-Am) to have the privateers race for something. The Manufacturers Cup is meant for actual factory entries so it would make sense that an HPD doesn’t get rewarded with a potential manufactures cup ubtil Honda fully commits to funding factory entries.

    Posted by Michael Almaguer | February 17, 2012, 8:28
  8. @JAG: I know the “best privateer prize”, but what does the 2nd or 3rd best privateer get? Nothing. My point was that because there is no Teams’ Championship, the Drivers’ Championship will become the de facto championship for the privateers, since it usually tells the best team too.

    @Bamba: According to Gerard Neveu (Speedtv.com interview), Honda was the other plan B, but they weren’t ready to step up (that’s interesting). By the way, neither the car or the engine has been badged as Acura since 2009. Use HPD or Honda name.

    Posted by WroomWroom | February 17, 2012, 9:40
  9. I think the HPD’s performance will be on part with the Toyota’s if not better.

    The current tweak is that only the top 6 results achieved by a team in each WEC round will count. So since Toyota is not in Sebring it doesn’t hurt them much since it’s an 8 round championship.

    Nothing to do with privateer or manufacturer cup.

    Honda might be saving a full factory effort to have a go at Porsche in 2014. Since they have a new NSX coming, beating Porsche in racing will be good marketing.

    Posted by Bamba | February 17, 2012, 20:47
  10. WEC is death before it started… they miss and need a man with vision….. Who will save this series for 2013???

    Posted by HD | February 17, 2012, 23:27
  11. Privateer cup IS a teams championship, but it excludes manufacturer teams e.g. Audi Sport Joest.

    Posted by SchellZ | February 18, 2012, 0:18
  12. A Cup of private teams would be fantastic.
    It’s a shame that there is too little focus on them on TV, they are the true spirit of Le Mans.
    All the softcore fans there have seen Le Mans in their TV at home here the past few years, think only that there is Peugeot & Audi in the LMP1 class.

    Im were sad of that. Especially when the duels on the track between private teams can be much more exciting than the manufactues.

    Last year at Sebring, I was so excited to see Muscle Milk vs. Rebellion Racing.
    This year will be even more exciting in the WEC when we have:

    Strakke Racing – Honda HPD ARX-03a
    JRM Racing – Honda HPD ARX-03a
    Pescarolo – Judd 03 Pescarolo / Judd Dome s102.5
    Rebellion Racing – Lola Toyota / Lola Toyota
    Oak Racing – OAK Pescarolo Judd

    When there is duels on the track with the leading privaters it should be showed on Tv!

    Posted by Ornqiraj | February 23, 2012, 18:49
  13. In an RLM interview Strakka said their target was the privateer cup, they were also confident of podiums and challenging the factory teams. We’ve been used to seeing a signicant gap between factory and privateer, thanks largely to the diesel regs, but it’s reaching the stage were cars like the new HPD, Dome, Lola and OAK could have a decent chance of competing on outright pace. Next year you’ll probably see a few more teams in P1, P2 is becoming overpopulated, the way into Le Mans will be via P1 (and GTE-Pro), a decision made easier thanks to the quality of car and engine packages on offer.

    Posted by JAG | February 24, 2012, 18:43

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