Ahead of the transitional 2018/18 FIA World Endurance Championship, the FIA World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the regulations.
The primary change is that the LMP1 title will now be awarded to a team and not a manufacturer. This is in response to the launch of the privateer LMP1 class in 2018. Additionally, only the highest-placed car within a team will score points towards the teams’ classification. Commentators have pointed out that this is a move designed to encourage multi-car teams.
The three priorities that the ACO has set for the World Endurance Championship are to encourage more manufacturers and private teams, control budgets and maintain a cutting-edge approach to technology. Manufacturers are encouraged to supply non-hybrid engines to private teams and there is a possibility that a manufacturer could enter a non-non-hybrid car under a branding deal with a partner.
Technical equivalency between hybrid and non-hybrid cars will be established and carefully maintained.
The ACO has also announced that the 2018/19 LMP1 regulations will remain in force for a minimum of three seasons.
In an interesting development, the FIA Motor Sport Council has also approved changes to pit-stop regulations which will allow teams to change tyres and re-fuel at the same time.
Points will be allocated as in 2017 with the 24 Hours of Le Mans being allocated an additional 50% of the points for 6-hour races and the Sebring race being allocated an additional 25%.
“The format of the 2018-19 Super Season and the new system of allocating points depending on the different races as well as the notion of a single car, the highest-placed of two entries entered by the same team, guarantees a hotly-contested championship and close competition between the teams. The structure of this new championship looks promising,” said the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon.
The 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season opens with the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5.