ACO moves to slow down Audi, Peugeot

ACO moves to slow down Audi, Peugeot

It may be bad news for the powerful Audi and Peugeot works teams, but it may be a boon for the fans looking for closer competition. Whatever it may be, Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) has made its call, and decided that further rebalancing is ...

It may be bad news for the powerful Audi and Peugeot works teams, but it may be a boon for the fans looking for closer competition. Whatever it may be, Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) has made its call, and decided that further rebalancing is needed for the diesel and gasoline (petrol) engine options.

#1 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI: Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller, Marco Werner.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

ACO evaluated the performance of the Audi and Peugeot works teams at the American and European season openers at Sebring and Barcelona, respectively, and determined that the performance differential still favored the diesel brigade.

Starting with the Le Mans Series race at Spa-Francorchamps race in a little over two weeks' time, the Audis -- including the Colin Kolles-run 2008-spec R10 cars -- and the Peugeots will be carrying an addition 30 kg (66 lbs) of ballast in an attempt to slow them down.

In addition, the fuel tank flow limiters on the diesel-powered cars are being reduced from the current 38 mm to 33 mm, to match that of the gasoline-powered racers.

Most critically, these rules will apply at the classic 24 hour race at La Sarthe in June. However, the American Le Mans Series is not automatically affected, and will make its own decision as to whether to apply the same rule changes.

With the privateer diesels of Kolles and Pescarolo also affected, the clear winner from the change is the works Aston Martin effort, which has three cars entered in LMP1 for Aston Martin Racing and AMR Eastern Europe. The teams' closed-top Lolas will now be sure to be nipping on the heels of the Peugeots and Audis at the 24H, potentially setting the stage for one of the most competitive races in years.

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About this article
Series ALMS , Le Mans , European Le Mans
Drivers Lucas Luhr , Marco Werner , Eric Gilbert , Mike Rockenfeller , Colin Kolles