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.

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