ACO announces 2009 sporting regulations

SPIRIT OF THE 2009 RULES The 2009 endurance season will be marked by the application of new equivalence that prefigure the new regulations for the years 2010 and 2011. The Sports Committee was charged by the ACO President, Jean-Claude ...


The 2009 endurance season will be marked by the application of new equivalence that prefigure the new regulations for the years 2010 and 2011.

The Sports Committee was charged by the ACO President, Jean-Claude Plassart, to propose the regulations to the ACO Director Committee. The Sports Committee made up of Mrs Remy Brouard, Pierre Fillon, Jacques Leseur and Daniel Poissenot.

This committee has benefited from the recommendations of the work-study group, and well-known motor sport engineers like Gordon Murray and, since the start of this year, Bernard Dudot (engines).

The basic guidelines of these regulations are as follows:


- Restore the PETROL-DIESEL balance in LM P1
- Restore the balance between the Prototypes
- Maintain difference in performance between LM P1 and LM P2
- Make the GT2 and the LM P2 more accessible to private teams


- Reduce performances in all the Prototypes and GT categories


- Significant increase in time of pneumatics changes in all categories (reduce pneumatics budget)
- Continuation of present Prototype rules (chassis -- body -- engines) in 2009 and 2010
- Introduction of 'production' engines in LM P2
- Use of engines in several races in all categories (reduce engines budget)


- Second-generation, eco-friendly fuel for diesel and petrol engines, as was introduced by the ACO already 2 years ago
- Reduce the use and consumption of pneumatics
- Reduce the noise level

2010-2011 OBJECTIVES

* Postpone to 2011 the 'new rules' planned in 2010, because of the time required to analyse and to adjust the cars to the new rules

* Ongoing study on the Prototypes aerodynamics, in collaboration with the FIA and manufacturers

* For the future rules to be enforced in 2011, we wanted to add two very important aspects for the ACO and the automobile industry:
1) New technologies
2) Reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption

* The broad technical lines of the 2011 rules will be communicated around 15th November 2008

* Slight changes concerning the current LM P1 and LM P2 chassis

* Free choice between open and closed cars in Prototype

* 'Important' reduction of LM P1 engine capacity on the current basis of LM P2 engines

* LM P2 only in 'production' engines

* 2010 FIA GT in agreement with the ACO

* New reduction of noise level

One particularity: the Hybrid LM P1

The 24 Heures du Mans remains one of the major conveyors of automobile technical innovation. The ACO will enable teams to participate with hybrid cars as from 2009, upon invitation, but without being classified.

Modifications per category en 2009

LM Prototypes

The aim of these modifications is:

- To cap the performance of LM P1 prototypes, which, this year, broke the 3m 30s barrier per lap on the Le Mans circuit.
- To create a level playing field in terms of performance between the petrol engines designed specifically for racing, production, petrol engines, and diesels.
- To maintain the gap between LM P1 and LM P2.

To achieve this aim the following measures have been taken:

- Reduction of the air restrictors by 10% and reduction of the supercharger pressure by 6.5% on LM P1 and LM P2 diesel engines: total performance reduction is 10.5%
- In LM P1, a 5.5-litre diesel engine will have two 37.9mm diameter air restrictors and a maximum supercharger pressure of 2.750 mbar.
- LM P1 production engines' air restrictors will be reduced by 3%.
- LM P2 engines' air restrictors will be reduced by 10%.
- Air restrictors will be increased by 0.3mm for cars with air conditioning.


The wing must fit into a volume of 150mm (vertical) X250 mm (horizontal) x 1600mm (transversal). It must have a 20mm minimum Gurney flap.


As the GTs' speeds have increased and taking into account the performance reduction for the prototypes, modifications will be imposed to increase their laps times by at least 4 seconds on the Le Mans circuit.

As the FIA will bring in a new set of regulations in 2010, these modifications have to be taken into account for the changes on the 2009 cars.

Our proposals take into account the joint ones from the manufacturers (Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Corvette).

To achieve this, the following measures have been taken:

- A weight increase of 25 kilos in LM GT1 and 20 kilos in LM GT2.
- A 25mm Gurney flap minimum in LM GT1, and 15mm minimum in LM GT2 will be obligatory.
- The air restrictors will be reduced by 2% in LM GT1 and 5% in LM GT2.
- The air restrictor advantage for cars fitted with air conditioning is cancelled. The temperature inside the cockpit must not exceed 32o.C whatever the circumstances.
- Ground clearance increased by 5mm for the LM GT2s.


The time necessary for wheel changes will be increased to encourage competitors to use harder tyres.

Wheel changes will be considered as separate from other interventions, except driver changes, and only two mechanics with a single air gun will be allowed in the work zone at the same time.

The equipment and wheels required for this intervention must be put in place and removed during this intervention only.

- Warming tyres is forbidden.
- Only a single engine can be used for 2 races (Le Mans Series. ALMS, Asia) (sealed).
- Noise reduction: the maximum level will be reduced from 113 dB to 110 dB.
- Use of second-generation bio fuel (10% max) for petrol and diesel.


We have received requests from manufacturers and entrants concerning energy retrieval systems. We are in favour of them, but they will be used in LM P1 only.

They must comply with the following specifications:

- Electrical systems already fitted or likely to be fitted to series production cars.
- The total power of the electric engines, the storage capacity of energy, and the quantity of energy used over a lap of the circuit, will be defined and controlled.
- They must respect the safety criteria defined by the ACO with the help of manufacturers, as well as the safety criteria drawn up by the FIA for alternative energies.
- Equivalence rules will also be drawn up to maintain a level playing field between cars using new technologies and those using conventional ones.

Cars equipped with such systems may be allowed to take part in some 2009 races but outside the classification.

They will be allowed to race with the other cars from 2010 onwards.


Reduction of the cubic capacity of engines

As for the hybrid systems, we also have received many requests from manufacturers about the use of smaller engines. These smaller cubic capacity engines will, in fact, be developed for series production cars to improve fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. In 2011, the regulations foresee the use of the present generation LM P2 engines in LM P1. A delay of at least 2 years between the announcement of the application date of a new set of regulations for engines is necessary. Although the engines already exist the manufacturers want to develop specific power units for these new objectives.

These regulation changes have the following advantages:

* They follow the current evolution of the motorcar and the environment.
* They will lead to a significant reduction in the power of LM P1 engines (around 150 bhp) and their performances. This year the quickest LM P2 lapped the Le Mans circuit in 3m 35s. By keeping the LM P1's minimum weight at 900 kilos (+3 seconds) and imposing the 2009 wing (+4 seconds) we will achieve a lap time of 3m 35s + 3 + 4 3m 42s.
* The weight gain from these new smaller engines may be used by the manufacturers to install energy retrieval systems.

Insofar as the LM P1s will use the current LM P2 race engines, we will impose from 2011 onwards (but we wish to encourage them now) the use of LM GT2 engines with the same horsepower ; namely, with the same air restrictors.

Chassis and bodywork modifications

No fundamental chassis modifications will be brought in.


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About this article
Series Le Mans , European Le Mans
Drivers Remy Brouard , Daniel Poissenot , Pierre Fillon