The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, along with the FIA have announced a raft of radical new rules including the less restricted use of hybrid power for the top-flight LMP1 racers from 2014.
Starting in 2014, the top class LMP1 cars can run whatever size engine they want with however many cylinders they choose and hybrid systems will also be freed up. Instead, each car will be given an energy allocation for the race that will amount to about a 30% fossil fuel reduction compared to current machines. The weight and width (and thus the aerodynamic drag) will also be reduced (900 kilograms to 830 kg for non-hybrids and 850 kg for hybrids).
The width of the cars will be reduced by 100 mm, from 2000 to 1900 mm, while the driver will sit higher in the car, further forward and the height of front wings will be decreased, all in the name of safety.
In the situation of hybrids, four different sizes of energy recovery systems will be permitted, ranging from 2 to 8 MJ of power. It’s a significant increase over the current hybrid regulations, which are limited to 0.5 MJs. In effect, a larger system will be required to be more fuel-efficient.