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.
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.
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.
Points are awarded according to the standard FIA points system. Due to their longer race distances, points are awarded for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1000 Miles of Sebring according to a different system.
|11th or lower:||0.5 points|
|11th or lower:||1 points|
|11th or lower:||1 points|
The following FIA World Championships are awarded as part of the WEC:
- LMP FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion
- LMP1 FIA World Endurance Champion
- GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion
- GT FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship
The following team trophies are also awarded as part of the WEC:
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
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
|Minimum driving time: 40 minutes||Maximum driving time: 4 hours 30 minutes|
|Minimum driving time: 1 hour 15 minutes||Maximum driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes|
|Minimum driving time: 40 minutes||Maximum driving time: 4 hours 30 minutes|
|Minimum driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes||Maximum driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes|
Under the FIA WEC rulebook, one safety car operates on tracks with a total length of 6.99 km or lower. If the track is 7.00 km or longer, a safety car must be available to neutralise the race at the end of each sector. In this case, the safety cars must maintain the same distance between themselves throughout the safety car period.
Once a safety car period is declared, the pit lane is immediately closed for regular pit stops for a period of three laps. Any vehicle pitting while the pits are closed, to repair damage for instance, has just five seconds to complete what is necessary, such as refuelling or replacing a damaged tyre. All cars pitting during this three-lap window must return to the pits for a normal pit stop once the race is back under green flag conditions.
If adverse weather conditions do not allow cars to circulate behind the safety car safely, the race can be stopped by the race director. This stoppage may only last for four hours and thirty minutes. If the race is stopped for a period longer than four hours thirty minutes, the race is automatically ended and half points are awarded according to the 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 has been limited. This applies to dry tyres and is as follows:
||Qualifying & Race|
Teams choose a tyre supplier for the whole season. However, if teams are unhappy with their choice of tyre supplier, they also have the opportunity to change tyre supplier once per season.
Limited number of power units
Hybrid cars may only use a limited number of power units per season in an effort to curb spending in the LMP1 category. Power unit in this sense is taken to mean the entire drive train, combining both the electric hybrid component and the combustion engine. Cars are limited to seven power units per season. Official tests, such as the Prologue, Le Mans Test Day and the Rookie Test) are not included in this regard, and additional power units can be used. If cars do use more than seven power units in one season, the race director may impose one of the following penalties:
- Three-minute stop & go penalty in the case of a six-hour race
- Five-minute stop & go penalty in races with a distance longer than six hours
Equivalency of technology (EoT)
Given that the top category in the WEC is a platform for manufacturers to explore research and development opportunities, the rules of the series make it mandatory for manufacturers to use at least one hybrid system in their cars. Hybrid systems cause costs to rise, and so privateer teams are not bound by this requirement to use a hybrid system. However, combustion engines are not able to provide the same amount of power that hybrid drive trains are capable of. As a result, the FIA Endurance Committee reserves the right to adjust the performance of the privateer cars through its equivalence of technology (EoT) framework.
In order to achieve equivalency, the committee may reduce the total available energy of the LMP1 works entries by up to 10 megajoules (MJ) or raise the available energy of the LMP1 privateers by up to 10 MJ. It may also limit the amount of fuel cars are permitted to use per lap. The teams are responsible for implementing the EoT regulations in the form of changes to fuel tank volume, engine configurations or hybrid systems.
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 (BoP)
Balance of performance is a system of adjustments that the FIA Endurance Committee can make to LMP2 and 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 (maximum change: 30 kg)
- Size of the engine air restrictor
- Petrol tank capacity (maximum change: 10 l)
- Aerodynamic adjustments