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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:00 (Ref:1742164)   #1
Bentley03
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Evolution of the ACO regulations in 2007

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EVOLUTION OF THE ACO REGULATIONS IN 2007
jeudi 19 octobre 2006 - 13h43

24 Heures du Mans , American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series : EVOLUTION OF THE ACO REGULATIONS IN 2007

Since its creation in 1923 the Le Mans 24-Hours race has always been a testing ground for new motorcar technologies. It is a laboratory in which safety improvements, reliability and engineering performance plus the pleasure of driving are tested and confirmed while respecting the environment.

These are key values that are dear to the heart both the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and its president Mr. Jean-Claude Plassart. “To respect this spirit our regulations are framed in such a way as to encourage manufacturers to take up new challenges. We are delighted with the recent initiative of two major manufacturers, which have accepted the challenge to race at Le Mans with a clean diesel engine. AUDI was the first to go for this technological gamble and so became the first manufacturer to win the race with diesel power in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.”

“When the A.C.O threw down the gauntlet with this diesel challenge the A.C.O. made it quite clear that it would keep a close eye on the equivalence between diesel and petrol-engined cars,” the president of the centenary club continued. “Thus, we have been working in close collaboration with the manufacturers, the petrol companies and major independent engineers. From these studies and on-going analyses with very sophisticated simulation models and computer programmes we came to the conclusion that corrections had to be made but with considerable caution, all the more so as those in the running for victory were separated by small gaps.”

“First of all, for 2007 we’ve decided to work on adjusting the quantity of energy supplied. It’s a painstaking job which is of the utmost importance as we’re sure that in the future manufacturers are going to come along with new technological innovations and above all with questions linked to different forms of energy.”

2007 REGULATIONS

First, a reminder that the A.C.O’s rules accept two categories: Prototypes and Grand Touring Cars.

Each of these categories is divided into two groups:

 LM P1 and LM P2 for the Prototype category,
 LM GT1 and LM GT2 for the Grand Touring Car category,

The LM P2 and GT2 categories are reserved mainly for private teams and must have performances inferior to those in LM P1 and LM GT1.

The A.C.O wants to ensure that the performances in each category and group of cars are respected as follows:

 1st level of performance: LM P1
 2nd level of performance: LM P2
 3rd level of performance: LM GT1
 4th level of performance: LM GT2

Taking into account the results this year in the various events held under the “Le Mans” label (Le Mans 24 Hours, American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series) the following modifications will be made to the 2007 technical regulations:


LM P1: Concerning the adjustments to be made to performances between petrol and diesel-engined cars, the advantages and disadvantages linked to the use of different types of engines must be taken into account. After making this clear the A.C.O considers that for 2007 in the light of the results achieved this year the size of the air restrictors, the supercharger pressures and the weight of all the LM P1s should remain identical to those of the 2006 season. The gap between the quantity of energy in a litre of diesel and a litre petrol being 10% the capacity of the diesel-engined cars’ fuel tanks will be reduced by this amount to 81 litres.

LM P2: The performances of some of the LM P2 cars are very close to and indeed sometimes even better than the LM P1s on certain circuits so a reduction is necessary. The air restrictors will be 5% smaller.
In addition, a gap of 1.5% between the best LM P1 and LM P2 laps times must be respected. If the gap is under this figure the A.C.O will take steps to re-establish it at the end of the year.

LM GT1: Given that the performance and top speed of these cars are constantly increasing approaching those of the LM P2s, their air restrictors will be reduced by 5%. As the capacity of the fuel tanks has to be adjusted according to the type of energy used (petrol or ethanol; see ‘fuels’ below), the amount of fuel on board the car must not exceed 90 litres.




LM GT2: To maintain a reasonable gap to the GT1s the air restrictors will also be reduced by 5%. As the capacity of the fuel tanks has to be adjusted according to the type of energy used (petrol or ethanol; see ‘fuels’ below), the amount of fuel on board the car must not exceed 90 litres.

FUEL: In 2007, the ACO will supply only one kind of petrol and one kind of diesel for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans Series events. To meet the requests of several entrants who want to use bio fuels, the ACO is currently evaluating the possibility of supplying a type of diesel and petrol in 2008 that contain a certain quantity of bio fuel. These fuels will be compatible with current engines.
However, the ACO agrees that the American Le Mans Series supply a third kind of fuel based on ethanol for its events in 2007. The capacity of the fuel tanks will be adjusted in such a way that the quantity of energy will be the same whether it is petrol or diesel. For safety reasons the capacity of the fuel tank cannot exceed 110 litres.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:05 (Ref:1742167)   #2
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Very. Quote: "None of us will say anything because we want an entry next year."
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:11 (Ref:1742169)   #3
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Summary:
  • LMP1: diesels get 81 litre tank and no other changes
  • LMP2: 5% smaller restrictor and lap times should be more than 1.5% slower than LMP1
  • GT1 and GT2: 5% smaller restrictor and ethanol cars get 110 litre tank

Last edited by gwyllion; 19 Oct 2006 at 15:18.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:14 (Ref:1742171)   #4
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With this special statement about ALMS allowing ethanol it is save to assume that the Rahal Porsche will run on ethanol. See http://www.rahal.com/

The question remains LMP2 or GT2. The ACO annoucement seems to give a hit, because ethanol is only mentioned for GT1 and GT2

Last edited by gwyllion; 19 Oct 2006 at 15:18.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:28 (Ref:1742176)   #5
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Thoughts:
  1. All other things remaining the same, this ensures that the LMS is only Peugeot vs Audi; all others should be happy to get any air time at all. No hope for the gasoline-powered P1s to even get close, as the weights, restrictor sizes and and turbo boosts remain the same as ACO rules - and in the ALMS the only time gasoline powered cars challenged was when they ran 65 kg lighter. It's generally thought in the paddock that there's almost 100 horses extra in the current diesel powertrain.
  2. The choking back of the P2 cars can be seen as an effort to ensure that Mazda, Honda, Porsche do not stick around in P2. I see no carrot to go with that stick, though, considering none of them would consider going the diesel route.
  3. The mention of ethanol points to the rumour of E85 showing up in the ALMS (the rumour was attached to the Corvettes). Hopefully they'll be able to get the fuel cell balance right, but with a max size of 110L, that only gives a 10% increase in capacity from normal GT1. It's thought that Ethanol would need as much as 50% more by volume to give the same amount of Joules in a tank. (edited to add that there's obviously an error in the PR at this point, as they previously refer to a max fuel cell size of 90L for GT classes, and there's nowhere else to apply the 110L exemption)
  4. Beyond the possibility of the Judd 5.5 in the Pescarolos, I don't see the existing petrol packages being able to compete with the current power to weight ratio of the Audis (and Peugeots, I'm sure). The Lolas are considered improved compared to the last generation by their drivers; does it make sense that the R10 is a quantum leap ahead in chassis design? So it's all down to power available as the advantage. I've had people tell me that the Shell syndiesel is worth about a 50% increase in power over pump diesel. Since no specs were discussed by ACO, and since the syndiesel is so much different (and unavailable), perhaps this is where ACO will adjust the power discrepancy.

Last edited by paul-collins; 19 Oct 2006 at 15:42.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:33 (Ref:1742181)   #6
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:43 (Ref:1742189)   #7
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Originally Posted by paul-collins
[*]The choking back of the P2 cars can be seen as an effort to ensure that Mazda, Honda, Porsche do not stick around in P2. I see no carrot to go with that stick, though, considering none of them would consider going the diesel route.[/LIST]
ACO's reasoning is explicitly stated in their announcement.
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The LM P2 and GT2 categories are reserved mainly for private teams and must have performances inferior to those in LM P1 and LM GT1.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:46 (Ref:1742193)   #8
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paul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridpaul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridpaul-collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I understand the rationale, gwillion. What I'm saying is that, since those manufacturers have no reason to go the diesel route, and with diesel regs being maintained in this beneficial setting, they'll simply not bother.

Oh well, it'll be another test of ALMS' ability to forge ahead on their own, I guess.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:46 (Ref:1742194)   #9
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Originally Posted by eddsc
Very. Quote: "None of us will say anything because we want an entry next year."
I suspect Henri will in fact have a great deal to say.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:50 (Ref:1742196)   #10
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I don't know what to say to all this. I thought maybe we would see something a little bit different, maybe allow more competion, and maybe more brands into the ACO rules.

This however makes me think that we will not see anything new come up in the near future. The idea of a porsche in LMP1...well kiss that goodbye. Honda, Mazda, Porsche in LMP2....well that looks to be going the same route, atleas in the eyes of the ACO.

I wonder what they think of cusomer supported teams in their "lower" class?
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 15:57 (Ref:1742206)   #11
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Why would anyone bother to run a petrol P1 any more? The only place to be competitive is for them all to pack up and enter the ALMS as the LMS is bound to be an Audi/Peugeot white wash.

It's a shame the Audi domination has scared the other companies into going the P2 route, which is only going to end up hurting the dedicated privateers with Acura and Porsche duking it out in 2007. It's curious that the ACO still thinks P2 is for private teams yet does nothing to protect them from getting whomped by a richly backed factory outfit.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 16:15 (Ref:1742225)   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silk Cut Jaguar
It's a shame the Audi domination has scared the other companies into going the P2 route, which is only going to end up hurting the dedicated privateers with Acura and Porsche duking it out in 2007. It's curious that the ACO still thinks P2 is for private teams yet does nothing to protect them from getting whomped by a richly backed factory outfit.
Well, given that the Acura entries have two different chassis, both customer chassis, I think it's fair to say that they're equal parts factory and privateer (AGR being supported by XM satellite radio, Fernandez being supported by Lowes). And the Porsche was always intended to be a turnkey privateer car... Just that it's still "under development."

Mazda has been privateer with a little bit of support all along. I'm hearing that, at the very least, the engines will be Japan-supplied next year instead of built stateside.

At most, it can be said that the Japanese teams right now are semi-factory.

The real protection comes in the form of forcing companies to be prepared to supply their wares to any and all comers (ie Michelin). With those tires, Porsche vs Intersport might look a bit different right now...

Anyway, you can't force the factories to go to P1. You can certainly discourage them from entering P2 (which the pinning back of the ears is about), but you have to provide the incentive for them to join P1 at the same time - and with current P1 engine regs, if Honda (or Porsche) isn't prepared to go the diesel route, there's just no incentive.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 16:18 (Ref:1742227)   #13
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Why would anyone bother to run a petrol P1 any more?
Precisely.
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 16:44 (Ref:1742255)   #14
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If they restirct those LMP2s and GTs even more, they'll get no air at all!!
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Old 19 Oct 2006, 17:06 (Ref:1742282)   #15
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Another daft set of rules by the ACO. Such a shame that they run that "little race", as they continously frustrate by trying to make all other racing in this genre struggle.

All that was needed to be done, was to release the gas powered P1's a bit, to equalize the diesel/gas performance. It is theoretically possible that this new spec Shell fuel will do so, but one would have expected this to be explicitly stated if is so.

I hope that Audi paid well for these regulations.
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