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WEC: 2018 Season News and Discussion Thread

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:55 AM
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:59 AM
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:33 PM
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Wow...
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:36 PM
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:37 AM
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https://www.topgear.com/car-news/mot...-going-le-mans

Fact fans, get ready to add another name to the long list of current and former F1 drivers who’ve raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2009 World Champion Jenson Button will compete in the full “Super Season” of the WEC for Russian privateers SMP Racing, who contest the non-hybrid sub-division of the LMP1 category. This means Jenson won’t be in direct competition with former teammate Fernando Alonso, who unlike Button will have hybrid power.

Button will continue to compete in Japan’s Super GT series alongside the WEC, skipping next week’s WEC season-opener at Spa to compete in its second-round. So Le Mans will be his first race. Talk about diving in at the deep end, Jenson.

Sharing the BR Engineering BR1 are Mikhail Aleshin and fellow former F1-driver Vitaly Petrov. Co-developed by BR and Dallara, it has a twin-turbo V6 with 700bhp, a six-speed sequential transmission and a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.

On SMP’s Russian-language website, Jenson says he’s “looking forward” to the race and that “with [his teammates] and the experience that we have accumulated in different racing series, as well as with the fantastic experience of the team in the endurance race, we will have a wonderful chance to fight in the front ranks and claim victory”. We’re rooting for you, Jenson.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:35 PM
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Great to see Jenson in WEC. He's skills with conserving tires should help in endurance racing.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:41 PM
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:40 AM
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Old 05-05-2018, 01:09 PM
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Well, someone's season is off to a great start:

Spoiler
https://www.fiawec.com/en/news/breaking-news-alonso-buemi-and-nakajima-win-at-spa/5942
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Old 05-05-2018, 01:17 PM
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Nando!
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:13 AM
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Video of the SMP BR1 car that went flipping into the air. The car flipped twice. :scary:
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:36 AM
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Reminiscent of the Mercedes flip at LeMans (Webber?)
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:38 AM
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Yup. There were several Mercedes CLR's that flipped in Le Mans, not just one. The Mercedes back then were flat bottom cars, which I thought contributed to them being prone to lifting off. Not sure about LMP1 regulations and ground effects, but the BR1 doesn't appear to have a flat bottom. This car probably got on the curb at a wrong angle, causing massive air to go under the car.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:55 AM
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https://www.autoblog.com/2018/06/05/...ivery-le-mans/

Long-time fans of Porsche, particularly its motorsports history, are in for a treat at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. The company took two of its 911 RSR race cars and gave each of them a famous color scheme from the past. The designs are part of the company's 70th anniversary celebration.

The first and most unusual paint scheme is a modern rendition of the "Pink Pig." The design was used on a Porsche 917/20 in 1971. Just like the original, it's finished in a pale shade of pink with dotted lines marking out sections of the car. Each of these sections has a label for a different cut of meat from a pig.

The other livery isn't as strange, but it's no less recognizable. It features a blue, red and gold color scheme of tobacco company Rothmans. Rothmans was a sponsor of many racing Porsches over the years, and the colors appeared on everything from Le Mans racers to the Paris-Dakar 959. This version on the 911 RSR notably lacks any tobacco branding or advertising.

The two 911s with the retro colors will be competing alongside 8 additional 911s with more modern liveries. They will compete in the GTE classes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:55 AM
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:46 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/...20-21-1044922/

New rules for the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship have been given the green light for introduction in time for the 2020/21 season.

The major principles of the regulations that will result in a breed of prototype to replace the current LMP1 cars were signed off during Thursday's FIA World Motor Sport Council in the Phillippines.

Few details have been announced in the wake of the meeting.

The WMSC statement only says that the target is for manufacturer budgets to be one quarter of current levels in LMP1 and that there will be "freedom of design based on a hypercar concept".

More details will be released next Friday when WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, which has formulated the regulations together with the FIA, holds its traditional press conference ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The rules, which have the working title of 'GTP', will allow for manufacturers to give their prototype machinery the look of one of their road-going sportscars.

The intent of the new rulebook will be to maintain the current level of performance, but at a substantially reduced cost.

There will be a lower level of hybrid technology allowed and it is expected that manufacturers will be able to chose to a spec energy-retrieval system rather than developing their own.

The manufacturers around the table during the formulation of the new rules were Toyota, McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Ford.

A plan to "encourage the participation of more female drivers in the WEC" was also approved by the WMSC, further details of which will be announced at the ACO press conference.

It was also confirmed that the Sebring WEC round scheduled for next March will now be a 1000-mile race rather than 1500 miles, as previously announced.

The race takes place on Friday, March 15, the day before the traditional Sebring 12 Hours IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:03 AM
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Booo. Don't like this direction to "hypercars"
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:01 AM
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Velocity is apparently doing start to finish coverage of LeMans. Sadly, we cut cable last year & YouTubeTV doesn't have Velocity as a channel.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:35 AM
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I was checking this out as well this morning. This is why I haven't cancelled cable yet. Live sports.

For those without cable, I recommend Motor Trend website. Which actually have more coverage then Velocity. It's currently showing free practice. They have a 14 day free preview avaible right now. So you cancel after the race is complete I assume.

https://www.motortrendondemand.com/watch-live/

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Old 06-13-2018, 11:44 AM
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MT coverage is also available via app on the Fire Stick, I believe.
Will have to check if my Roku or SmartTV have the app.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:16 PM
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Still can't believe Toyota is only sending 2 cars to Le Mans. Based on their past history, I'd have sent 4 cars just to be sure.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:49 AM
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https://racer.com/2018/06/15/2020-lm...ed-at-le-mans/

The Automobile Club De L’Ouest revealed a detailed framework for the proposed 2020 ‘LMP1’ regulations for the FIA World Endurance Championship (and therefore the Le Mans 24 Hours) this morning at its annual press conference at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

From 2020 onward, the top class (its name still has yet to be decided) will feature prototype-based cars with styling designed to ensure highly visible relevance to the brand fielding each car, the categories of car mentioned as examples being “super cars, luxury GTs, hypercars and concept cars.”

All of them will be four-wheel drive, with a hybrid KERS system operating on the front axle and a common ECU with homologated software. Any manufacturer hybrid system must be available to privateer teams at an accessible cost.

The engine architecture will be free, allowing both normally aspirated and turbocharged engines of either small or large capacities. They will, however, feature a fixed maximum performance target of 700 horsepower, with an additional 271hp from the hybrid system.


On the aero side, the ACO states that “dimensions and aerodynamic rules are set in order to provide enough freedom for the brand design and are relevant with the dimensions/ proportions of a top-class GT car.”

Mobile aero devices will be accepted for this, and downforce and drag will be fixed, with only one set of bodywork per season to be homologated.

The target lap time for these new top class cars at Le Mans will be a 3m20s (slightly slower than current LMP1 Hybrids — Toyota’s pole lap for this year’s race was 3m15.377s).

These new regulations, subject to approval, will be fixed for five years, from 2020 to 2024, with a focus on cost control. FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu explained to RACER after the conference that the target is 20-25 million euros [$23-$29m] for a program per season — touted as roughly a quarter of the budget of the current LMP1 hybrid programs — and that he expects aspirant privateer teams to be able to compete alongside manufacturers in the class, especially with the potential for customer programs.

“When you speak about budgets of 20-25 million, there are many business models possible. When you do a joint venture and use some partners. We have seen (in the past) top privateer teams making joint ventures with manufacturers or major sponsors.”

Neveu said multiple manufacturers have expressed interest, having been involved in conversations throughout the “long process” in developing the regulations.

U.S. sports car sanctioning body IMSA was also part of the process, and although no decisions to make this new platform global have been taken yet, IMSA President Scott Atherton told RACER that making the regulations universal is a target.

“Whether or not we can all work together to make this a universal or global solution is still to be determined,” he said. “That remains the goal for sure and we are here meeting actively, and in dialogue, with that and a number of other things in mind. We are here in force with that as the mission.”

The key gap here, he explained, is budget rather than the general philosophy of the proposed regulations. But, Atherton added, “Our optimism remains strong that over the next few months we can work to close that gap.”

Neveu echoed Atherton’s desire for a universal set of regulations across the WEC and IMSA.

“Clearly we would like to see a global platform, with cars eligible in IMSA and the WEC,” he told RACER. “I think that with most of the things we presented today, we are very close. But we try to reduce the budget a little more. There will be a working session in the next month before the final details are presented. IMSA is around the table still, so it must be positive.

“Our job now is to try and provide a platform that is exactly like GTE, because that works really well; we are sharing regulations, we have some partners that are not racing in IMSA and they have Corvette, which is not racing in the WEC, but healthy grids in both.”

Further into the future, the ACO also teased a hydrogen fuel cell category from 2024 onward, athough at present there are very few details of how this will work or how it would be integrated into the FIA WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours. ACO technical director Vincent Beaumesnil simply said that those details were “coming soon.”

“We continue to drive automotive research and defend our beliefs. Hydrogen is the future of zero-emission mobility,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon. “This is not just a statement of intent: we already set up a panel of experts and are working hand-in-hand with manufacturers. We are focused on practical research so that we are ready for 2024 and the introduction of a hydrogen class at the Le Mans 24 Hours.”
Looks interesting. I'd be okay with this replacing LMP1.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:44 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/lemans/ne...while-1046133/

Corvette Racing’s program manager Doug Fehan has confirmed that 2018 is not the last year of the C7.R in competition, despite its Le Mans (and IMSA) debut coming four years ago.

Corvette Racing has scored eight GT wins in 18 attempts at Le Mans, the C7.R scoring the most recent in 2015 in the hands of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor.

However, its predecessor, the C6.R, ran from 2005 to 2013 inclusive, and Fehan says he’s “not concerned” with the age of the current car, despite increasing competition from newer models.

“I don’t like to refer to it as an old car,” he told Motorsport.com, “but it has many years of participation here at Le Mans, which is not a bad thing.

“We went faster last night in this car than we’ve ever gone before, which means that development pays off. Improvement in tires, aerodynamics, chassis – all those things.

“At the end of the day the BoP is designed to be able to level that playing field [so] I’m not concerned with the age of the car at all. Not at all. Its durability and reliability and performance have been well-proven. We feel pretty confident in bringing them out as we know they’re dependable.

“We know time and time again that the team that spends the least amount of time in the pit box is most likely the team that’s going to win the race. Not necessarily the fastest car.”

“I think we’ll continue to see the same [C7.R] version for a while. Eventually there will be an eighth-generation Corvette. When they introduce that car, we’ll be racing it. But I don’t think that’s going to be for a while.”

Asked where he had seen gains made in the C7.R’s fifth year at Le Mans, Fehan replied: “First and foremost Michelin. This is a new tire for us. That’ll be an interesting development [but] we know it’s better.

“I think we’ve made some gains in aerodynamics, in braking, and in the overall handling of the car with the chassis; tweaking different setups, caster, camber.

“Getting all those things to work in unison. That’s what we’ve been working on.”

Fehan also said he trusted the ACO’s Balance of Performance adjudicators to ensure the GTE Pro category was made as even as possible.

“I can tell you this, they [ACO] have worked as hard as they can possibly work and we’ll see,” he stated. “At the end of the day the final test is in the race, not what we see on the board from last night. They still have the ability to make adjustments if necessary. They want to have a good race as much as we want to have a good race. I trust them.”
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:13 PM
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Pretty much a snore fest this year unless you are an Alonso or Toyota fan. I guess these LMP1 cars can run forever like a Prius when they are set at cruise control.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:04 AM
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Saw this morning that 2 of the Ford GT teams got penalties for drivers not meeting the 6hr minimum drive time.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:36 PM
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Blame The FIA For How Boring The 24 Hours Of Le Mans Was This Year

https://jalopnik.com/blame-the-fia-f...-wa-1826899937

The race was as exciting as F1 recent races
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:51 PM
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A bit glad I don't have Velocity. Seems silly to mandate the number of laps and fuel between pit stops, why even have a 24hr race in that case? Seems more like a 24hr series of sprints between pit stops.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:44 PM
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I don't know how much the fuel issue was, but the lack of any real competition to Toyota was probably the biggest factor.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:02 PM
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https://racer.com/2018/06/18/lm24-wi...investigation/

G-Drive disqualified due to fuel rig tampering.

Stupid
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