Alpine wants WEC BoP changes to ease fuel mileage concerns

Alpine is demanding changes to the Hypercar Balance of Performance after losing a shot at victory in Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa on fuel mileage.

Alpine wants WEC BoP changes to ease fuel mileage concerns
Listen to this article

The French manufacturer's Gibson-powered A480 grandfathered LMP1 car run by Signatech finished just over a minute behind the winning Toyota GR010 Hybrid in second position, but Alpine drivers Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere had to make one extra fuel stop to complete the six-hour race.

Signatech boss Philippe Sinault revealed after the race that the amount of fuel allocated to the A480 in the BoP table could not be accommodated by the car's fuel tank, which explained why Alpine's stints fell two or three laps short of those managed by the Toyotas.

"Something has to be done and I hope something can change," Sinault told Motorsport.com. "I will try to convince the Automobile Club de l'Ouest [the series promoter and co-writer of the rules with the FIA], but they already know the problem.

"We want to have the chance of a real victory, not just to be lucky because the other cars have problems — without a change we will always be spectators."

Read Also:

The stint length for the new Hypercar class is based on the cars achieving 12 laps between pitstops around the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans. The Rebellion typically managed 11 laps per stint at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year.

Sinault said that putting a bigger fuel tank in the Alpine, which is designed around an LMP2 monocoque, will be problematic.

"We are at maximum capacity," said Sinault. "It is not possible to put a bigger fuel tank in because the car is homologated like this."

It appears the only solution would be to reduce the stint length of the Toyotas by reducing the amount of energy allowed to them in the BoP table published before each race.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon said he could not comment on Alpine's calls for a BoP change.

Each car is prescribed a maximum amount of energy it can use, measured in megajoules, over a stint, which for the Toyota includes the electric power deployed by its front-axle hybrid system.

The Toyotas repeatedly managed 25 laps around the 4.35-mile Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with the winning car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima managing 26 laps on one occasion.

The regular stint length for the Alpine at Spa was 22 laps, but it also managed a single 23-lap stint.

Details of the BoP correction mentioned by ACO technical director Thierry Bouvet in a pre-event press conference hosted by the WEC promoter and the FIA emerged after the race.

The atmospheric co-efficient designed to remove the advantage of running a turbocharged engine over a normally-aspirated motor at altitude was removed for Spa, which lies at approximately 600m in the Ardennes mountains.

This gave Toyota's twin-turbo 3.5-litre twin-turbo a power boost of 18kW or 24bhp, which Gibson Technology was able to match on the 4.5-litre normally-aspirated V8 in the Alpine.

The move was designed to increase the performance gap between the cars running in the Hypercar class and the LMP2 prototypes, which was a topic of debate throughout race week. Vasselon estimated the power increase was worth 0.55s a lap.

shares
comments

Related video

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era
Previous article

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Next article

WRT proved it can be competitive on WEC debut

WRT proved it can be competitive on WEC debut
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Prime

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Prime

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022