Next-gen LMP1 rules should limit hybrids - Toyota

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Next-gen LMP1 rules should limit hybrids - Toyota
By: Gary Watkins
Feb 23, 2018, 4:53 PM

Toyota wants cars with different levels of technology to compete together when new LMP1 rules come into force for the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

The Japanese manufacturer has proposed that manufacturers should be allowed to continue developing hybrid and other technologies in P1, but that their effect on performance be limited. 

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon told Motorsport.com: "We want to have a development incentive in many areas, especially in hybrid systems and combustion engines, but we accept and make proposals to really limit the performance impact of this development."

Vasselon stated that Toyota accepted that the current level of technology in LMP1 was "not sustainable" and the need for "privateers to be able to buy an affordable package that delivers the correct level of performance".

He believes that the Equivalence of Technology can be used to balance cars of different technological specifications in the future in the same way as it will equate the lap times of the non-hybrid privateer P1s and Toyota's TS050 Hybrids for the next two WEC seasons.

Vasselon's comments come in the wake of WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest proposing the idea of simpler and less powerful hybrid systems in the name of cost reduction. 

ACO president Pierre Fillon suggested last month that he envisaged the new-rules manufacturer P1 cars having "more power from the [internal combustion] engine and less from the hybrid".

The 2020/21 rules being proposed would make all cars, both those run by manufacturers and privateers, hybrid and would therefore do way with the Equivalence of Technology that at present equates the performance of different types of car.  

"Now there are two rule books, one for the manufacturers and one for the privateers, but in the future the idea is to have everyone running to the same set of regulations, but making sure that the baseline package is affordable for the privateers," he explained.

"The maximum power and the energy per laps for a hybrid is set, so the performance it can bring is already capped."

Vasselon re-iterated the importance of technology in Toyota's racing programme in the WEC.  

"I could not imagine the top category at Le Mans where everything is frozen and you have a kind of spec car," he said. 

"This is not what we expect from Le Mans and I hope this is not where Le Mans wants to go."

The ACO and the FIA, which jointly write the LMP1 rule book, are aiming to announce the future direction of the category during Le Mans week in June.

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About this article

Series WEC
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins
Article type Breaking news