WEC abandons 2018 LMP1 rules overhaul

The FIA World Endurance Championship has announced plans to freeze its technical regulations in the LMP1 class until the end of 2019, effectively abandoning an expected overhaul of the rulebook for 2018.

WEC abandons 2018 LMP1 rules overhaul
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson
Pierre Fillon, ACO President
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01: Simon Trummer, Oliver Webb, Pierre Kaffer

The global sportscar series had been set for major changes in 2018, including an increase of the top hybrid subclass to 10MJ (up from the current level of 8MJ), an increase in the maximum number of hybrid systems to three, and further reductions in fuel flow.

However, following a meeting between Porsche, Toyota, ACO President Pierre Fillon and FIA Endurance Commission President Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, it has instead been decided to abandon these changes and maintain stability in the LMP1 rulebook for another three seasons.

A statement from WEC said that this decision "will be put before the FIA World [Motor Sport] Council meeting in two weeks for approval."

It also confirmed other cost-saving measures to be put in place next season, including limits on staff headcount, the number of aero kits used in a season, wind tunnel time and testing days.

The u-turn is likely to have been brought on by last month's announcement of Audi's withdrawal from endurance racing, which leaves the LMP1 grid with only two manufacturers for the foreseeable future, plus a sole car from privateer entrant ByKolles.

A new LMP1 entry, however, was recently announced by Russian firm BR Engineering, which is working alongside Dallara and SMP Racing to produce a non-hybrid car to race in WEC in 2018.

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