24H Le Mans: LMH BoP announced, teams unhappy with LMP2 performance

#36 ALPINE ELF MATMUT / FRA / Alpine A480 – Gibson – 6 hours of Monza – Autodromo Nazionale Monza – Monza – Italy – 15 July 2021 21:10 Photo Copyright 2021 Tim Hearn/AdrenalMedia.com. Credits: WEC.

The Hypercar category will be submitted to a balance of performance for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Hypercars will benefit from a slight power boost in order to mark a clear separation with the LMP2.

The beginning of the WEC season was shaken by an unforeseen event that put a big blow to the new Hypercar category. Initially introduced as the new queen category of endurance racing, Toyota and Alpine faced some struggles to put their names ahead of some of the fastest LMP2 crews in the timesheets.

This unlogical event has inevitably upset both the drivers and team managers of the Hypercar category that asked for improved performance or penalties to be applied to the P2s to mark a clear separation between the number one and number two categories of endurance racing.

The Hypercar rules initially stated that the LMH would be allowed a maximum power level of 500kW for Le Mans, while as much as 520kW are normally allowed for the rest of the season. However, regarding the struggles encountered to outperform the LMP2 prototypes, an additional power boost was given to Toyota and Glickenhaus for the Sarthoise race.

The Japanese manufacturer will therefore be given the permission to deploy 515kW of power, while their American opponents will be given the permission to unclog their engine to reach 520kW. This power boost should give the Hypercars a big advantage over the LMP2 category, especially on a track such as Le Mans that is known for its long straights.

On the other hand, Alpine was penalized with a reduction of their maximum energy deployment over a stint. Instead of 918MJ, the French team will now only be able to deploy 844MJ over a stint. The reasons for this energy reduction remain unclear as Alpine showed similar lap times to Toyota over the season, the real issue of the team being the smaller size of their fuel tank that is forcing them to make additional pitstops compared to their Japanese opponents, over the course of a race.

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