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No further LMP2 restrictions for 6 Hours of Spa

United Autosports Team during the opening day of the testing in Spa. Credits: WEC website PRESS AREA.

The technical changes made to slow down the LMP2 cars for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa have been removed ahead of the 2021 season opener. 

The FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest confirmed during this week’s test that the rules concerning the performance of the LMP2 cars will not be changed for the race in Belgium. They took this decision since they want to analyze the data that they will receive after the practice, qualifying, and race. 

Toyota asked to review the balance between the two classes after that their new machinery, the GR010 Hybrids, concluded more than half a second off the pace on the two days of testing. 

However, ACO technical director, Thierry Bouvet, answered: “Clearly not at this point. The first parameter elements for Hypercar will remain unchanged.

“We will publish a [new] BoP soon: you will find some changes just to correct some mistakes, [so] not changes.

“We did a lot of simulation for one year and six months with manufacturers involved — we should not put all that work in the bin.”

The BoP mentioned by Bouvet was described as the “starting point.” Plus, it has been said that the times set during the days of testing are not only a result of the BoP, but some other factors need to be taken into account. 

During the press conference, alongside Bouvet, there was also Marek Nawarecki for the FIA. The latter did not mention anything about changes either, which means that at the moment, the rules will be untouched. 

Since the new generation of Hypercar is going to be around five seconds slower per lap on a regular WEC track, the P2s have been slowed down to make them slower than the Hypercar. 

In the beginning, the plan was to reduce the horsepower by 30kW or 40bhp and use a harder compound of Goodyear tires. Then, another 20kW or 25bhp were removed by the P2s with an increase in the minimum weight that went from 930kg to 950kg. Finally, it was compulsory for the team to use the low-downforce spec that is usually used for the 24 Hours of Le Mans at every WEC race. 

However, using the low-downforce set-up at Spa might have had the opposite result, which means that it did not slow the cars down but helped the teams to go faster. 

“The changes we did in LMP2 seem huge, but when we went through the exercise of overlaying the speed traces from the Prologue and free practice last year and also from 2019, it was incredible how close it was,” said Bouvet.

“The Le Mans kit is compensating for the majority of the 50kW power reduction – the top speeds at the end of the straight are almost identical.”

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