What’s new this sea­son? What reg­u­la­tions do teams and dri­vers have to watch out for? Here you will find an overview of the FIA WEC’s sport­ing regulations.

Points system

Under the FIA WEC’s sport­ing reg­u­la­tions, points are award­ed after the end of each race. All cars not entered as “full-sea­son entries” for the WEC but com­pet­ing in indi­vid­ual races are clas­si­fied in races but are invis­i­ble in terms of points-scoring.

Dou­ble points are award­ed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, giv­en that it is four times longer than any oth­er race on the WEC cal­en­dar. If races are cut short because of adverse weath­er con­di­tions, points are only award­ed if the lead­ing car has com­plet­ed more than 75% of the total race time (min­i­mum time of 4:31:00 in a six-hour race) as rac­ing laps (i.e. not behind the safe­ty car). If the lead­ing car has not com­plet­ed this min­i­mum race time, half points are award­ed. If the lead­ing car does not com­plete at least two laps not behind the safe­ty car, no points at all are awarded.

Full points for a six-hour race are award­ed as follows:

1st 25 points
2nd 18 points
3rd 15 points
4th 12 points
5th 10 points
6th 8 points
7th 6 points
8th 4 points
9th 2 points
10th 1 point
11th or lower 0.5 points

Championships

The fol­low­ing FIA World Cham­pi­onships are award­ed as part of the WEC:

  • FIA World Endurance Dri­vers’ Cham­pi­on (LMP)
  • FIA World Endurance Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ Cham­pi­on (LMP1)
  • FIA World Endurance Dri­vers’ Cham­pi­on (GT)
  • FIA World Endurance Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ Cham­pi­on (GT)

The fol­low­ing team tro­phies are also award­ed as part of the WEC:

  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for LMP1 Pri­vate Team Dri­vers (only award­ed if a at least three pri­vate team LMP1 cars are entered in the series)
  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for Pri­vate LMP1 Teams (only award­ed if a at least three pri­vate team LMP1 cars are entered in the series)
  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for LMP2 Drivers
  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for LMP2 Teams
  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for LMGTE Am Drivers
  • FIA Endurance Tro­phy for LMGTE Am Teams

Qualifying

Qual­i­fy­ing is sep­a­rat­ed into two sec­tions, each of which are 20 min­utes in length. The first 20-minute ses­sion is reserved for LMGTE cars and the sec­ond ses­sion for LMP1 and LMP2 cars. There is a ten-minute break between each session.

For each qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion teams nom­i­nate two dri­vers to qual­i­fy the car. These two dri­vers each have ten min­utes to post the fastest time they can, before their team­mate takes over. At the end of the ses­sion, the two quick­est laps from each dri­ver are added togeth­er and divid­ed by two. This gives the car’s offi­cial qual­i­fy­ing time.

Points are also award­ed for pole posi­tion both over­all, and in the LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am class­es. Every dri­ver in the pole-sit­ting team receives one point for pole posi­tion, irre­spec­tive of which two dri­vers drove in qual­i­fy­ing. In LMP2 and GTE Am, the quick­est dri­ver in qual­i­fy­ing may not start the race.

Driver selection

  • LMP1: A min­i­mum of two dri­vers are required per car and a max­i­mum of three per­mit­ted. LMP1 teams are not allowed to use a Bronze-rat­ed driver.
  • LMP2: A min­i­mum of two dri­vers are required per car and a max­i­mum of three per­mit­ted. Each car must have at least one Sil­ver or one Bronze driver.
  • LMGTE Pro: A min­i­mum of two dri­vers are required per car and a max­i­mum of three per­mit­ted, with no restric­tions of dri­ver rating.
  • LMGTE Am: A min­i­mum of two dri­vers are required per car and a max­i­mum of three per­mit­ted. Each car must have at least one Bronze and one Bronze or Sil­ver driver.

Driver ratings

Dri­vers intend­ing to com­pete in the WEC must be giv­en a clas­si­fi­ca­tion by the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee. With­out such clas­si­fi­ca­tion, they are not able to take part in WEC races.

PLATINUM: Plat­inum dri­vers must be under the age of 50 and meet at least one of the fol­low­ing criteria:

  • The dri­ver has held a Super Licence (for For­mu­la One).
  • The dri­ver has won the Le Mans 24 Hours in a pro­fes­sion­al cat­e­go­ry (LMP1 / LMGTE Pro).
  • The dri­ver has won the FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onship in a pro­fes­sion­al category.
  • The dri­ver has been a Fac­to­ry Dri­ver, paid by a car man­u­fac­tur­er, with results to match.
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in the top 5 in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion in the FIA Inter­na­tion­al F3000, CART/Champcar, IRL, Indy­Car or GP2; all FIA World Cham­pi­onships and FIA World Cups; Grand-Am Rolex series (DP only); and FIA For­mu­la E Championship.
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in the top 3 in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of an F3 inter­na­tion­al series (FIA F3, British/EuroF3 until 2011) or major inter­na­tion­al sin­gle-seater cham­pi­onship (such as F2, Nis­san World Series, For­mu­la Renault 3.5, etc.).
  • The dri­ver has won the Inter­na­tion­al V8 Super­cars Cham­pi­onship, the Porsche Super­cup or the Amer­i­can Le Mans Series (P1 or GT only).
  • The dri­ver sat­is­fies 3 or more Gold cri­te­ria (includ­ing rep­e­ti­tion of the same criteria).

A dri­ver may still be rat­ed Plat­inum by the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee due to his or her per­for­mances and achieve­ments despite not ful­fill­ing any of the cri­te­ria above.

GOLD: Gold dri­vers must meet one of the fol­low­ing criteria:

  • The dri­ver sat­is­fies one cri­te­ri­on from Platinum.
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in the top 3 in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of a sec­ondary inter­na­tion­al sin­gle-seater series (A1 GP, GP3, Renault V6, Super­league, Eurocup FR2.0, Fire­stone Indy Lights).
  • The dri­ver has won the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of a region­al or nation­al sin­gle-seater series (F3, FR2.0, Atlantic Cham­pi­onship up to and includ­ing 2009, Euro V8 Series).
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in the top 3 in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the Porsche Super­cup / DTM / BTCC / Super GT series or won a major nation­al Porsche Car­rera Cup.
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in the top 3 in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the Inter­na­tion­al V8 Super­cars Championship.
  • The dri­ver won a major GT series (FIA GT, Blanc­pain GT Series (Pro), FIA GT1 World Cham­pi­onship, FIA GT3 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, ADAC GT Mas­ters, British GT Cham­pi­onship, GT Asia) or GT cat­e­go­ry of a major Sports­car series (ILMC, ELMS, ALMS, Asian Le Mans Series, LMP2 WEC, IMSA Sports­car Cham­pi­onship) with driver(s) of a low­er or the same categorisation.

A dri­ver may still be rat­ed Gold by the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee due to his or her per­for­mances and achieve­ments despite not ful­fill­ing any of the cri­te­ria above.

SILBER: Sil­ver dri­vers must meet one of the fol­low­ing criteria:

  • The dri­ver is aged under 30 and not sat­is­fy­ing the cri­te­ria of cat­e­gories Plat­inum and Gold.
  • The dri­ver has fin­ished in 1st place in the gen­er­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion of region­al or major nation­al cham­pi­onships or inter­na­tion­al series, or has won a major endurance race.
  • The dri­ver has won a non-pro­fes­sion­al dri­vers’ series (Fer­rari Chal­lenge, Maserati Tro­phy, Lam­borgh­i­ni Supertro­phy, Porsche GT3 Cup Chal­lenge) or a region­al, nation­al or inter­na­tion­al sin­gle-make low­er cat­e­go­ry series organ­ised by a Man­u­fac­tur­er (not includ­ing Series which are restrict­ed only to Bronze drivers).
  • The dri­ver has com­pet­ed com­pet­i­tive­ly in high-lev­el inter­na­tion­al kart­ing competitions.

A dri­ver may still be rat­ed Sil­ver by the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee due to his or her per­for­mances and achieve­ments despite not ful­fill­ing any of the cri­te­ria above.

BRONZE: Ama­teur drivers.

  • Any dri­ver who was over 30 years old when his/her first licence was issued, and who has lit­tle or no sin­gle-seater experience.
  • Any dri­ver over 30, pre­vi­ous­ly cat­e­gorised as Sil­ver, but with no sig­nif­i­cant results (titles, pole posi­tions or race wins).
  • Any dri­ver under 30 years old with a licence issued for the first time dur­ing the year of his first categorisation.

Driving time

In the WEC, min­i­mum and max­i­mum dri­ving times apply to all four class­es. If these min­i­mum or max­i­mum times are vio­lat­ed by teams, they can be pun­ished and exclud­ed from the race. If the race is sus­pend­ed, the dri­ving time is also con­sid­ered to be sus­pend­ed. The fol­low­ing dri­ving time

LMP1
Min­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 40 minutes Max­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 4 hours 30 minutes
LMP2
Min­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 1 hour 15 minutes Max­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 3 hours 30 minutes
LMGTE-Pro
Min­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 40 minutes Max­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 4 hours 30 minutes
LMGTE-Am
Bronze and Sil­ver dri­vers must dri­ve for a min­i­mum of 1 hour 45 minutes.

Gold and Plat­inum dri­vers must dri­ve for a min­i­mum of 45 minutes.

Max­i­mum dri­ving time for each dri­ver: 3 hours 30 minutes

Neutralising the race

The full-course yel­low (FCY) pro­ce­dure is used to neu­tralise the race in the event of an acci­dent or poor weath­er. Once the FCY is called by the Race Direc­tor, all cars on the track must slow down and main­tain a speed of 80 kph until the inci­dent has been resolved. Over­tak­ing is strict­ly pro­hib­it­ed under FCY. The pits remain open under a FCY, and so cars may pit when­ev­er nec­es­sary with­out risk of penalty.

If the issue can­not be resolved under FCY, the Race Direc­tor may deploy a safe­ty car to neu­tralise the race. Cars line up behind the safe­ty car and main­tain a con­stant speed with­out over­tak­ing. Reg­u­lar tracks use one safe­ty car, where­as at Le Mans three sep­a­rate safe­ty cars are deployed at the same time due to the circuit’s length.

Once the safe­ty car is deployed, the pit lane is auto­mat­i­cal­ly closed to all com­peti­tors for a peri­od of three laps. Cars requir­ing emer­gency repairs or refu­elling may pit dur­ing this peri­od, but may only be sta­tion­ary in the pit lane for a peri­od of five sec­onds. The car must then return to the pits imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the three-lap peri­od or the end of the safe­ty car peri­od for full refu­elling or tyre change.

If poor weath­er caus­es the race to be neu­tralised but the weath­er con­di­tions do not allow for cars to cir­cu­late safe­ly behind the safe­ty car, the Race Direc­tor also has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sus­pend the race. Such a sus­pen­sion may only last for a max­i­mum of 4 hours 30 min­utes. If this lim­it is exceed­ed, the race is auto­mat­i­cal­ly stopped and half points are awarded.

Tyre regulations

Teams are free to pro­cure their cars from any cer­ti­fied tyre sup­pli­er of their choice. Miche­lin and Dun­lop are cur­rent­ly cer­ti­fied as tyre sup­pli­ers for the WEC. Since the 2016 sea­son, the num­ber of tyres teams are per­mit­ted to use on each race week­end is lim­it­ed. This applies to dry tyres and is as follows:

Class Sets of tyres for Free Practice Sets of tyres for qual­i­fy­ing and the race
LMP1 4 6*
LMP2 3 4
LMGTE Pro 4 6
LMGTE Am 4 6

*Due to the cli­mat­ic con­di­tions in Shang­hai and Bahrain, teams can use eight sets of tyres at these races.

Equivalency systems

Equiv­a­len­cy of per­for­mance (EoP):

The pre­mier class of the WEC, LMP1, is geared towards research and devel­op­ment, and so the reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late that fac­to­ry teams must use at least one hybrid sys­tem in their cars. As such sys­tems are cost­ly, pri­va­teer LMP1 teams are exempt­ed from this rule.

Non-hybrid pri­va­teer cars are unable to com­pete with the per­for­mance of the fac­to­ry teams’ hybrid-pow­ered cars, and so the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee reserves the right to adjust the per­for­mance of the pri­va­teer class through its equiv­a­len­cy of per­for­mance guide­lines. The FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee may increase or reduce the total ener­gy allo­ca­tion avail­able to all LMP1 cars by up to 10 MJ in order to achieve per­for­mance equivalency.

Equiv­a­len­cy of tech­nol­o­gy (EoT):

Equiv­a­len­cy of tech­nol­o­gy reg­u­lates total ener­gy allo­ca­tion, fuel con­sump­tion per lap / per race and oth­er tech­no­log­i­cal com­po­nents to ensure that com­pe­ti­tion is fair among all teams and cars even if they use dif­fer­ent pow­er­train concepts.

The FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee col­lects the tech­ni­cal data from the best car of each team at the start of every sea­son and after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This data is then com­pared with race results and a frame­work cre­at­ed for the mix of tech­nolo­gies. This serves as a basis for all the teams who intend to use a par­tic­u­lar pow­er­train con­cept and must be adhered to until the next set of data is gath­ered. If a par­tic­u­lar pow­er­train con­fig­u­ra­tion gives cars a par­tic­u­lar advan­tage or puts them at a dis­ad­van­tage, the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee also has the right to imple­ment changes mid­way through the season.

Balance of performance

Bal­ance of per­for­mance is a sys­tem of adjust­ments that the FIA Endurance Com­mit­tee can make to LMGTE cars to cre­ate a lev­el play­ing field. Changes are made on a race-by-race basis based on past per­for­mance and oth­er bench­marks. The fol­low­ing areas can be adjusted:

  • Min­i­mum car weight
  • Size of the engine air restrictor
  • Petrol tank capacity
  • Rear wing height

Adjust­ments are also per­mit­ted to oth­er parts of the car if necessary.