The future of the WEC

FLRacingFan

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Looking bleaker and bleaker by the day. Six rounds, what the hell? I don't care about COTA but no Mexico and no Silverstone? What happens to Fuji if Toyota bail? A winter, Formula E-like schedule that ends at Le Mans? I guess that means next year will just be some standalone events, or Le Mans only, until a new season starts.

Good grief. Unless LMP1-L entries materialize in a year or two that class is dead. LMP2 isn't all that interesting with all ORECA 07s. GTE-Pro isn't all that interesting, not nearly as fun to watch as GTLM - Aston Martin is really the only aspect of that class over there that I like. GTE-Am is pretty barren, at least until those supposed customer Ford GTs and Porsche 911 RSRs actually materialize next year.

http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/wec-poised-for-reduced-schedule-possible-winter-calendar-shift/
 

DUN24

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Depressing af. It's amazing that IMSA Weathertech is thriving and the grand daddy in endurance racing is failing. Way to price yourself out of existence.
 

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Oh boy, things really have hit the ****ter for the FIA.

Thank you Formula E.
 

DUN24

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Oh boy, things really have hit the ****ter for the FIA.

Thank you Formula E.
Right? It's sad that all these brands are leaving to join that stupid series to basically signal virtue to the rest of the world. It's part of a PC movement and it's pissin' me off.


The tech is insane in LMP1 and I'm sure money is a factor as well.
 

Kiante

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Right? It's sad that all these brands are leaving to join that stupid series to basically signal virtue to the rest of the world. It's part of a PC movement and it's pissin' me off.


The tech is insane in LMP1 and I'm sure money is a factor as well.
Might be more of an endurance GT series after while. I wonder if the FIA will merge the GT3 standalone series? Blancpain Series?
 

FLRacingFan

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Might be more of an endurance GT series after while. I wonder if the FIA will merge the GT3 standalone series? Blancpain Series?
My guess, LMP1 (occasionally Toyota and any privateers that show up) and LMP2 still win overall but the major focus in terms of TV coverage and everything turns towards GTE. Especially with BMW joining next year and probably Lambo in 2019 or 2020.

From the DSC column:
The current uncertainty over the future of the class though is not helping the class to flourish, The ACO has reassured the new car builders of its commitment to the class, but have, thus far, been unwilling to make much by way of public statements to that effect as they prepare to reveal their future vision for the class, and for the WEC.

Recent media statements in France have seemed to point in the direction of a liberalised approach to the non-hybrid formula. Signatech’s Philippe Sinault implying recently in a radio interview that his Alpine-branded team might be contesting overall wins soon.
This is where they just need to get on with it and commit to something. They're just wasting time; people aren't going to commit to LMP1-L if they're not going to give them a chance to win overall. Rid the hybrid stuff, let the privateers come in and do their thing with different engines and different chassis. And I prefer this for the WEC because I still think the top class in the world should be BoP-free.
 

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The answer is so simple the FIA can't even see it. Adopt DPI, and not only do you get manufacturers, but also your current P2 Gibson teams will truly be in the fight to win races and the championship overall.

LMP1 is dead. Why does the FIA pretend it can be resurrected, or if anyone will even care if it is?
 

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New look, strengthened FIA World Endurance Championship for the future
http://www.fiawec.com/en/news/new-look-strengthened-fia-world-endurance-championship-for-the-future/5354

TL;DR:

- 2018/2019 "Super Season" that features Spa and Le Mans twice as they transition towards a winter schedule. Le Mans will become the season finale.
- 2019/2020 Season moves from eight races at six venues to seven races at seven venues
- Shipping freight rather than flying freight makes transportation expenses one-third of what they were
- Shortened schedule means the 2019/2020 LMP2 budget, for example, should be 20% smaller than what it is now
- No more hybrid/non-hybrid classifications...there will only be one LMP1 category. Hybrid and non-hybrid technologies will be balanced by an EoT between turbo and NA, rather than petrol and diesel as in the past. Hybrids will have a slight fuel consumption advantage.
- More engine power options will be offered
- There will TWO 12 Hours of Sebring races in 2019. There will be a joint IMSA/WEC race week but the IMSA event will run from 10 AM-10 PM on Saturday with the WEC two hours later from 12 AM-12 PM. Wow.

 

DUN24

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New look, strengthened FIA World Endurance Championship for the future
http://www.fiawec.com/en/news/new-look-strengthened-fia-world-endurance-championship-for-the-future/5354

TL;DR:

- 2018/2019 "Super Season" that features Spa and Le Mans twice as they transition towards a winter schedule. Le Mans will become the season finale.
- 2019/2020 Season moves from eight races at six venues to seven races at seven venues
- Shipping freight rather than flying freight makes transportation expenses one-third of what they were
- Shortened schedule means the 2019/2020 LMP2 budget, for example, should be 20% smaller than what it is now
- No more hybrid/non-hybrid classifications...there will only be one LMP1 category. Hybrid and non-hybrid technologies will be balanced by an EoT between turbo and NA, rather than petrol and diesel as in the past. Hybrids will have a slight fuel consumption advantage.
- More engine power options will be offered
- There will TWO 12 Hours of Sebring races in 2019. There will be a joint IMSA/WEC race week but the IMSA event will run from 10 AM-10 PM on Saturday with the WEC two hours later from 12 AM-12 PM. Wow.
They should just run a 24 hour Sebring race, but I love the idea of a complete weekend, regardless. Times be changing.
 

kkfan91

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Doesn't that make it the 14 hours of Sebring then? I don't know how you run 2 races at the same time with different end points that seems like a scoring nightmare.
 

DUN24

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Doesn't that make it the 14 hours of Sebring then? I don't know how you run 2 races at the same time with different end points that seems like a scoring nightmare.
Lol. I misunderstood. You're right. Should just be a joint 12 hr. We are going to have, what, 6 or 8 different races going on at once?
 

kkfan91

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Lol. I misunderstood. You're right. Should just be a joint 12 hr. We are going to have, what, 6 or 8 different races going on at once?
Like how do you even start a race in the middle of another? Throw a full course caution or just have them start from the pits. It sounds lime a disaster waiting to happen.
 

FLRacingFan

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Doesn't that make it the 14 hours of Sebring then? I don't know how you run 2 races at the same time with different end points that seems like a scoring nightmare.
The WEC race starts two hours after the IMSA race ends.

10 AM-10 PM Saturday - IMSA
Midnight-12 PM Sunday - WEC

2012 was a joint race and it was a mess. There were nine classes and about 65 cars. If they tried it again there'd easily be 75-80 cars and an even bigger ****show.
 

FLRacingFan

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Ok that makes more sense other then starting a race at midnight.
I can only guess trying to get both races in before campers leave. If it were even later Sunday morning people would probably leave before it even started. Gonna be hard to get through though, 24 hours of racing in a 26-hour period.
 

Doc Austin

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What happens to Fuji if Toyota bail?
What kind of a joke will it be if they show up to race nobody? Even worse, and probably wouldn't happen, but what kind of joke would it be for Toyota to lose even a single race to a privateer or a P2 car. Don't laugh. They got beat by five P2 cars at Lemans.

Unless LMP1-L entries materialize in a year or two that class is dead.
There's a very simple answer to put at least 25 cars on the grid next year, and have factory involvement.

That, and why don't they include the P3 cars? I've been watching the IMSA P2 series and those cars put on a good show too. I'll bet if we had P2 and P3 together we could have a hell of a field. You wouldn't need any P1 cars, You might even get away with running them separate from the GT cars.

LMP2 isn't all that interesting with all ORECA 07s.
Actually I have found P2 to be the series' only redeeming feature. While the GT cars race really well, I could care less. I like prototype racing, and even if the Oreca is dominating, at least they are still having some good races. Seems like there are always a couple of P2 cars fighting like hell with each other.

Of course, there's a very simple answer for bringing in a vast array of different cars. We all know what that is.

I do kind of like the idea of having two 12 hours at Sebring back to back, but you'll have 100,000 people with hangovers on Sunday morning that won't be very happy with all that noise.
 

FLRacingFan

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What kind of a joke will it be if they show up to race nobody? Even worse, and probably wouldn't happen, but what kind of joke would it be for Toyota to lose even a single race to a privateer or a P2 car. Don't laugh. They got beat by five P2 cars at Lemans.



There's a very simple answer to put at least 25 cars on the grid next year, and have factory involvement.

That, and why don't they include the P3 cars? I've been watching the IMSA P2 series and those cars put on a good show too. I'll bet if we had P2 and P3 together we could have a hell of a field. You wouldn't need any P1 cars, You might even get away with running them separate from the GT cars.


Actually I have found P2 to be the series' only redeeming feature. While the GT cars race really well, I could care less. I like prototype racing, and even if the Oreca is dominating, at least they are still having some good races. Seems like there are always a couple of P2 cars fighting like hell with each other.

Of course, there's a very simple answer for bringing in a vast array of different cars. We all know what that is.

I do kind of like the idea of having two 12 hours at Sebring back to back, but you'll have 100,000 people with hangovers on Sunday morning that won't be very happy with all that noise.
P3 is interesting but I think it's fine being in its own series with the MPC cars. Put them in a race with proper GT cars like in the ELMS and they can be a handful, they're not that fast so they really struggle to maneuver GT cars and it just gets messy. Hopefully more ELMS teams jump up and do some WEC races, they actually have a diverse LMP2 field.
 

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So the FIA/ACO are holding Toyota hostage and say they won't let them do Le Mans if they don't commit to the whole "Super Season". Um, good luck with that.

The Fuji round conflicts with Petit Le Mans and drivers and teams are livid about it. And how are WEC teams that otherwise would be interested in running the real 12 Hours of Sebring going to do it when they have their own race two hours later? They won't. This needs a re-think already.
 

Doc Austin

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So the FIA/ACO are holding Toyota hostage and say they won't let them do Le Mans if they don't commit to the whole "Super Season". Um, good luck with that.
The French are only happy when they have control of everything.

The Fuji round conflicts with Petit Le Mans and drivers and teams are livid about it.
Now that I know that it seems the FIA is trying top draw cars and attention from two of our three biggest races.

And how are WEC teams that otherwise would be interested in running the real 12 Hours of Sebring going to do it when they have their own race two hours later? They won't. This needs a re-think already.
Since our GT rules are identical, why not have one race with their GFT cares and our GT cars, and bring their P2s to race against our P2s and DPIs? That would be mega, but the ACO will never allow the DPIs a chance to beat the European P2s.
 

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Anyone know if WEC going back to COTA in 2018? That was a really poorly attended event.
 

FLRacingFan

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Anyone know if WEC going back to COTA in 2018? That was a really poorly attended event.
Nope. No COTA for WEC, no COTA for IMSA either. They did add Silverstone to the 2018/2019 super season last week though.

The WEC Sebring race is reportedly going to be the "1500 Miles of Sebring" as well.
 

Hotrod

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Nope. No COTA for WEC, no COTA for IMSA either. They did add Silverstone to the 2018/2019 super season last week though.

The WEC Sebring race is reportedly going to be the "1500 Miles of Sebring" as well.
Ok, thanks FL. Never done Sebring , this maybe one I need to consider doing. That's a lot of racing
to see in a day !
 

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Nope. No COTA for WEC, no COTA for IMSA either. They did add Silverstone to the 2018/2019 super season last week though.

The WEC Sebring race is reportedly going to be the "1500 Miles of Sebring" as well.
I don't blame either of them or the fans, that track is a disaster.
 

Doc Austin

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Worth addressing is the latest WEC article in Auto week: http://autoweek.com/article/sports-cars/wec-crossroads-series-must-have-strong-lmp1-class-or-else

An LMP2 car winning a World Endurance Championship race could be devastating
Every heard of "Rocky?"

So what if an LMP2 car had won? And wins again?
I suppose that would simply underline what a disaster the LMP1 cars are, and how important it is to have solid privateers to save the day.

Well, manufacturers pay the bills for the FIA and WEC. They buy advertising. They sponsor the broadcasts.
That's great until they bail, and they always bail, but only when it suits them. Like always, manufacturer pullout leave a trail of destruction behind them. Now, WEC is truly destroyed and it's going to have to reinvent itself if it ever wants to be taken seriously again.

The WEC insists that, “because of their superior performances and level of technological development,” all the Prototype classes “have a star status within endurance racing,”
And yet, over the course of 24 hours, all that million dollar technology is only good for one lap more than a lowly spec P2 car.

Do you think, had the Jackie Chan No. 38 DC Racing Oreca/Gibson had won, Oreca or Gibson would spend millions advertising that victory or touting the technological advances that came from it?
Maybe if it had a Cadillac, Nissan, Mazda or Acura engine and bodywork.

Oh, wait, that makes too much sense.

If an LMP2 car wins Le Mans, or any WEC race overall, the lack of interest could be devastating
It would certainly devastate a few egos, but it would make a great story. You know, the whole underdog things dates back to David and Goliath all the way through Rocky and into the Petite a few years ago when a GT Porsche won. We even saw it yesterday when Team Florida had their back against the wall for a whole season and still managed to pull one off from their flooded shop.

I think if people can give up their snooty ideas about what's "superior" they could actually enjoy motorsports instead of feeling like their sacred cows were gored every time there is an upset. Upsets are good. It's a lot better than seeing Audi trundle around with no other cars even in the game.

If the FIA would loosen its engine requirements and allow other manufacturers to supply engines alongside Gibson — and those existing engines already are, in IMSA, limited to about 600 hp, same as the Gibson—then the FIA WEC could bring major factory involvement back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans prototype class and beyond. Hell, they can even rename the LMP2 class LMP1 if they want.

And there is “a group of manufacturers that are pushing for that very thing,” we were told by one of those manufacturers a week ago.
And thank God. Since manufacturer involvement is the ACO holy grail, maybe they should listen to them. The key word here is "Group," which means more than one. That is still more than they are going to have next year, even if Toyota stays.

I think it just might be possible that manufacturers would like to compete in a cost controlled series where they can win races and make a little money instead of bleeding it. That would just make too much sense.

The FIA would have to write a check to Gibson, we’d suspect, but there are few other roadblocks.
Well, the FIA isn't exactly known for keeping teams and cottage industry concerns solvent. Still, if P2 becomes the premier division, and the Gibson being the baseline of performance, you can bet they will still sell enough motors. The prospect of privateers being competitive could and probably would pull more of them in, and plenty of them buying Gibsons. Gibson has more to gain here than to lose.

Time to bring in the ships and set a new course if the ACO and the FIA, which bill themselves as “guardians of the existence and quality of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” want it to continue.
The quality of the WEC all year long has been the P2 battles. All the ACO has to do is swallow a little bit of their overblown Gallic pride and invite the DPIs to compete. DPI, despite what the naysayers tell you, is working here. It could work every bit as easily at Lemans.
 

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Did you see that there will be two races at Sebring next year? IMSA will have their race from Ten O'clock Saturday morning, to ten O'clock Saturday evening. Then with a two hour prep time, the WEC is going to start their race at midnight Sunday, and end at noon Sunday, if they have enough cars to fill a field. Seems like a stupid thing. They should make WEC cars compatible with IMSA and run them together. But like you say "that would make sense".

Went to Laguna Seca this weekend, and they put on one hell of a show. The favorites didn't win. A privateer won the LMP race, even though the pole sitting Taylor brothers were 8/10 of a second faster than anyone else. The GTP came down to the last lap, where the BMW held off the pole sitting Ferrari by about a car length. That was the best racing I have seen in a long time. I'll try to get some pics up pretty soon.
 

Doc Austin

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Did you see that there will be two races at Sebring next year? ........They should make WEC cars compatible with IMSA and run them together. But like you say "that would make sense".
All they would have to do is simply line them up on the grid because P2 is already compatible with DPI. IMSA uses the P2 Gibson as it's baseline of performance and BOPs everything to match that. All any WEC P2 team would have to do to race in IMSA is simply show up.

Went to Laguna Seca this weekend, and they put on one hell of a show. The favorites didn't win. A privateer won the LMP race, even though the pole sitting Taylor brothers were 8/10 of a second faster than anyone else
The Taylors got a horrible pits stop at the worst possible time and it hosed them out of contention. Dane Cameron is one of my favs, but I was cheering like hell for the Team Florida car.

That was the best racing I have seen in a long time. I'll try to get some pics up pretty soon.
Certainly, but you also need to check out WEC P2. That racing is simply cutthroat. The last two races have really been spectacular. All the LPM1 cars did was parade around and draw attention away from the real racing, so I am really glad to see them go. P2 and DPI is going to be where it's at next year.
 

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Another one bites the dust.

Peugeot Unlikely to Enter LMP1; Shifts Focus to World Rallycross
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/peugeot-unlikely-to-enter-lmp1-shifts-focus-to-world-rallycross/
I'm a dinosaur...
The move, believed to be influenced by the soon-to-be all-electric WRX class, has essentially ruled out a Peugeot LMP1 effort, which had been under evaluation for at least the last 24 months.

“The brand wants to embark on a new challenge with the idea of accompanying our own energy transition but also to create a strong and unique bond with new customers and the new generation,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
 

Doc Austin

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Anyone see the Fuji 6 hours? TV coverage in the US was a little spotty. They covered part of the race, cut some out, and cobbled it all together to where it did not make any senses. This was made even worse with two red flags and about eight cautions, plus multiple laps run under cautions, slow zones, and standing local yellow flags. it was an utter mess, but that's not to apportion blame. It was no one's fault because the conditions with rain and fog were so deplorable.

Still, it seemed like the Sigmatec and Jackie Chan P2 entries were glued together the entire time, swapping position multiple times per lap. Not only that, but there was no blocking or dirty tricks. It was really solid, clean racing. They were always together and I don't believe they even touched once. It was great fun to watch. This is the same sort of thing we have seen in P2 all year long. Even further down the P2 order there was still cracking good racing going on, including some weird apparently deliberate door banging under yellow followed by those two cars crashing into each other when the race went green. In short, it seemed like there were always P2 cars trying to cut each other's throats. This is what racing is supposed to be, if maybe a little bit too competitive.

The P2 class is providing the best racing we have seen in sportscars since maybe, well, maybe forever. This class is the future of WEC, even if the FIA doesn't yet realize it. All they need to do is to make P2 the top division, keep the manufacturer teams out, but allow different engines and manufacturer body kits. Essentially, they need to be running IMSA DPI rules and assure equal access of equipment to any team on the grid.

In IMSA, every prototype on the grid is competitive (except the Riley which no one runs any more). US sportscar grids have always been smaller than European grids, but we still look set to have 15 cars for the Rolex, not including any late deals that are in the works. At this year's Lemans we have a full 25 car P2 grid, and only because that's all they invited. It's hard to imagine how big P2 could become if it were the premier division, but I am sure it would be every bit as big as the Group C heydays.
 

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2018/2019 Super Season shaping up nicely, actually.

Should be 9+ entries in LMP1, 10 in GTE-Pro, and 9+ in GTE-Am.
 

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I gotta admit surprise that so many privateers are coming back, but that's what happens when you give them a chance to win overall.
Yeah, let's hope that the regulations work out as well as they're intended to and these guys have a legitimate shot of winning on pace. It's sounding good though - three different chassis among privateers, possibly five different engines, and Rebellion may make it a fourth different chassis with some variant/evolution of the ORECA 07.
 

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I'de be ok with telling Toyota to take a hike and keeping LMP1 all privateer. We see how well that works in LMP2.

What's going to happen is the class will build build up on the backs of the privateers, and when it gets big enough the manufacturers will want to come back and stomp them out, destroy the entire sport, and then leave again. Happens over and over and over, every single time. The only way to stop it is to keep the auto manufacturers out.
 

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Rebellion confirm a two-car program for the Super Season, putting the LMP1 field at 11 cars for next season so far. Wow.

Big down year for the WEC in 2017, but it'll be rebound in a strong way in 2018-2019. A good number of teams are gonna be left off of both the full-season WEC and the Le Mans entry lists.
 

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Rebellion confirm a two-car program for the Super Season, putting the LMP1 field at 11 cars for next season so far. Wow.
I admit to being gleefully wrong about how many entries we will have. I did not expect to get so many, but this is what happens when the privateers have a chance to win. It's actually too bad that Toyota chose to continue, You can bet if there were no factory entries we would have seen even more privateer interest. At this point, the factories have mortally wounded the sport so many times I would be just as happy if they went away forever and instead we could have a well supported privateer series.

Ashamedly, I don't even know the rules for these cars, but I hope they can BOP the Toyota down so it has to fight like hell to stay competitive. Factory participation is great, right up until they pull out and leave you with nothing, so it's especially important to keep the privateers in the game and competitive. Privateers have got to have to chance a chance to win or they don't last long.

Yes, certainly I appreciate how well Toyota has supported the sport, but I would not be not especially impressed if they dominate a bunch of privateers. I'm sure Toyota would rather have another auto maker to fight with, but they don't exist. I would like to see Toyota take a break until they get some real competition. They can't possibly feel good about beating nobody. Actually, Toyota can't win no matter how many races they actually do win. They are supposed to beat these guys and they are not supposed to get beaten. If they win, it's no big deal, and if they lose, well that wasn't supposed to happen, was it? What does Toyota get out of this except from maybe winning Lemans against no other manufacturer?

That and I am not especially impressed that one of the world's largest auto manufacturers can steamroller underfunded, under resourced privateers. I would rather see Toyota rake a break, and have an 11 car series that you have no idea who the hell is going to win on any given weekend.

Still, we will have 11 prototypes to watch instead of just five, so that's a big win for all of us.

Big down year for the WEC in 2017, but it'll be rebound in a strong way in 2018-2019.
Also remember that we still have 25-30 really solid P2 cars out there, so with 11 P1 cars we could have huge grids. Sadly we could see cars turned away to make room for the GT cars.

A good number of teams are gonna be left off of both the full-season WEC and the Le Mans entry lists.
At this point, if we can secure 30 full time prototypes, instead of turning cars away I think it would make more sense to split the GT and Prototype cars into their own races.
 

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I admit to being gleefully wrong about how many entries we will have. I did not expect to get so many, but this is what happens when the privateers have a chance to win. It's actually too bad that Toyota chose to continue, You can bet if there were no factory entries we would have seen even more privateer interest. At this point, the factories have mortally wounded the sport so many times I would be just as happy if they went away forever and instead we could have a well supported privateer series.

Ashamedly, I don't even know the rules for these cars, but I hope they can BOP the Toyota down so it has to fight like hell to stay competitive. Factory participation is great, right up until they pull out and leave you with nothing, so it's especially important to keep the privateers in the game and competitive. Privateers have got to have to chance a chance to win or they don't last long.

Yes, certainly I appreciate how well Toyota has supported the sport, but I would not be not especially impressed if they dominate a bunch of privateers. I'm sure Toyota would rather have another auto maker to fight with, but they don't exist. I would like to see Toyota take a break until they get some real competition. They can't possibly feel good about beating nobody. Actually, Toyota can't win no matter how many races they actually do win. They are supposed to beat these guys and they are not supposed to get beaten. If they win, it's no big deal, and if they lose, well that wasn't supposed to happen, was it? What does Toyota get out of this except from maybe winning Lemans against no other manufacturer?

That and I am not especially impressed that one of the world's largest auto manufacturers can steamroller underfunded, under resourced privateers. I would rather see Toyota rake a break, and have an 11 car series that you have no idea who the hell is going to win on any given weekend.

Still, we will have 11 prototypes to watch instead of just five, so that's a big win for all of us.



Also remember that we still have 25-30 really solid P2 cars out there, so with 11 P1 cars we could have huge grids. Sadly we could see cars turned away to make room for the GT cars.



At this point, if we can secure 30 full time prototypes, instead of turning cars away I think it would make more sense to split the GT and Prototype cars into their own races.
I still think it's good to have Toyota around, just for the sake of having some sort of OEM involvement at the top level. It sounds like Manor may bring some sort of OEM engine in, and ByKolles have the NISMO engine, but other than that I think the privateers are just running AER or Gibson stuff. Toyota brings that extra marketing and exposure that otherwise wouldn't be there. And they are arguing themselves that the EoT needs to properly balance hybrids and non-hybrids so that the privateers can effectively compete with them, because they know running away from a bunch of privateers with no hope doesn't do them much good.

I think we'll come pretty close to an even split between prototypes and GTs in the WEC - 9 LMP1s (saw yesterday that the mystery team that planned to run two Ginettas may not come through), 6-7 LMP2s (don't know for sure, some moved up to LMP1 although ELMS teams may move up), 10 GTE-Pros, 6-7 GTE-Ams (will probably be oversubscribed here and encouraged to go down to the ELMS).

Le Mans, I don't think any number of applicants would ever encourage the organizers to do two races, but we could very well see ten or so teams left on the reserve list when the fields are released in early February - mainly from the ELMS and AsLMS.
 

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I still think it's good to have Toyota around, just for the sake of having some sort of OEM involvement at the top level.
Yeah, but they are up against essentially nobody. Certainly Rebellion and Chan are good teams, but compared to the resources available to one of the world's largest auto manufacturers, it's not exactly a fair fight. It's great to brag about manufacturer involvement, but you have to keep the private teams in the fight too.

How do you balance giant auto companies with small, private teams? You can't. Whatever they lack in air restrictor size or weight or however they balance them, they will just spend the millions to overcome. Even the best privateers can't do that.

It sounds like Manor may bring some sort of OEM engine in, and ByKolles have the NISMO engine, but other than that I think the privateers are just running AER or Gibson stuff.
I am gleefully wrong about the amount of interest privateers have shown in running. I hope all the rumored teams make it to the grid, but history shows you can't count on anyone until the season opens.

Toyota brings that extra marketing and exposure that otherwise wouldn't be there.
I'm not sure I care about that. The marketing isn't going to help as much as Toyotas potentially killing off all the privateers is going to hurt.

What the FIA is doing now is throwing the privateers a bone so they can rebuild the series on their backs. As soon as the manufacturers come back, you can bet the FIA will not give a damm about them and the factory cars will be allowed to steamroller them right out of the series. Bet on it. It's happened so many time I have lost count.

And they are arguing themselves that the EoT needs to properly balance hybrids and non-hybrids so that the privateers can effectively compete with them, because they know running away from a bunch of privateers with no hope doesn't do them much good.
You'de better believe they would never, ever put Toyota at a disadvantage. That's their sole manufacturer. They can't afford to lose them, so they will adjust the rules to keep them ahead of everyone else. Maybe the privateers will be in the fight in the opening races when the new BOP is still experimental, but by the time they get to Lemans, the FIA will have found a way to make sure Toyota isn't going to ever get outrun.

Manufacturers have boycotted Lemans before, and you can bet if Toyota gets a tough fight in the opening races they will find a way to say the rules are unfair and then stay home.

9 LMP1s (saw yesterday that the mystery team that planned to run two Ginettas may not come through),
I saw the drawings of the Ginetta and it would be a shame if they couldn't make it. That's a nice looking car.
 

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