I will admit that I'm not much of a fan of the 2020 regulations. Too much cutesy sh!t with having to finish the race on electric power and running the first 1km out of the pits on electric power. Just really gimmicky, Formula E-type stuff.
Unfortunately cutesy stuff is creeping in everywhere. Nascar has their stage racing and lucky dogs. There's DRS in F1 and push to block in Indycars. Both use the "mandatory option" (how is that even possible?) tires. GT racing and even DPI has the dreaded "balance of performance," which used to be called "manufactured racing." All is this is just phony gimmicks to "spice up the show
Well, here's one for people running the show: It's not a show. it's a sport, and the people who aren't watching racing any more know the difference. How do I know people know the difference? They are staying home or doing other things, real things
But sports car racing, and Le Mans in particular, is supposed to act as some sort of proving ground and test bed for innovation.
What's the incentive to be innovative they will just ban whatever you come up with? The most innovative thing in history being the turbine, which stood the entire racing world on it's ear. It got banned after two year, when the rules stated three year stability. Granatelli made the investment thinking he could race it for three years, and then he got hosed. Against their own rules, first USAC put crippling restrictions on it, and later even moré restrictions that made it impossible for a turbine to even make the race. Elsewhere they banned all sorts of things over the years, starting with movable aerodynamic aids (but the DRS is ok because it spices up the show
), AWD, traction control, anti lock brakes, CTV transmissions, full ground effects, and is list of other stuff too long to compile. Just the ones I mentioned were real innovation, and all but the turbine engine have found their way into production vehicles.
The entire hybrid concept is a straw man anyway. It takes more energy to make a hybrid battery than can be saved over the lifetime of the car, and it disposing of one is harder on the environment than all the pollution the internal combustion engine in that car will emit over it's lifetime. essentially, it's pure bullschnitt.
The real innovation is going to come from what they learn in formula E that will eventually give us fast, reliable electric cars that will either travel hundreds of miles on a charge, or recharge in minutes. While I kind of despise Formula E because they seem so full of themselves, an so pleased with themselves for saving the planet, I can see more relevent technology coming out of there than sportscar racing.
GTE can't deliver that like LMP1 can, being subject to BoP, and LMP2 has plenty of faults of its own.
Well, they had 25 P2 cars and they raced the crap out of them, and over 24 hours they proved to, certainly more reliable, and nearly as fast and efficient as the million dollar wonder P1 cars. Seems like a hell of a lot more value to me. If P2 has a fault I am not seeing it, unless you are finding fault with it's spec engine. I agree we need a bit more diversity of equipment, but how do you balance it so no one gets an unreasonable upper hand? P2 is the proof of how good racing can be when the rules are the same for everyone.
Ultimately, it's endurance racing and at Le Mans especially you have to bring it home first before you worry about pace.
Man, that's never been more true than the last two Lemans.
I think a lot of people bought too much into the "24-hour sprint race" meme that's been going around the past several years with the seemingly bulletproof machines we've seen.
Personally I was shocked how Toyota's challenge evaporated, especially after last year. Now everyone is calling it the "Toyota Curse."
Even the brief Audi/Toyota/Porsche era saw a surprisingly high amount of reliability.
And look how boring and predictable that era was. Attrition is actually a good thing. Without iut, the same teams and drivers win over and over and over. Attrition is the real
But Toyota was really gunning for it all and set the bar awfully high after last year's devastation and combined with the hottest Le Mans on record in some time I think it was just ripe for failures to occur.
I hope no one falls on their sword tonight. Toyota has raced hard and with honor. Toyota's failure just shows how hard winning lemans really is.
Now I agree we're going to need more than four full-season LMP1 machines in the future and I hope that an OEM (Peugeot...) can come on board and deliver that competition we had for the last three years.
So that will give us six car, which is still embarrassing. The only way it could work with only three manufacturers would be for them to offer customer cars, but these LMP1s are so expensive and so difficult to run that the privateers would stand no chance, even with the latest stuff.
But I don't think the solution is to water down the regulations too much that it just isn't that interesting from a technical perspective anymore.
No, P2 is only interesting from a racing standpoint. OTOH, DPI offers the chance for a pretty diverse field of cars.
And I also believe that in the next few years the prospective privateer LMP1 programs (SMP/BR Engineering, Ginetta, Perrinn...) will go a long ways towards filling that void in LMP1, because privateers at the top level is definitely something that's been lacking recently.
I don't think those teams would have any better chance than Rebellion, which is a damm good team, or Bykolles who can hardly hold off the P2 cars. LMP1s are simply too expensive and too complicated for privateer outfits.