2022 SPORTING REGULATIONS
Once again, sporting fairness and cost control remains at the forefront of any amendments to the regulations ahead of WEC Season 10.
The WEC will adopt a new renewable fuel for 2022: Excellium Racing 100. This 100% renewable fuel produced by TotalEnergies will be produced on bioethanol basis made from wine residues from the French agricultural industry, and from ETBE produced at TotalEnergies' Feyzin refinery near Lyon (France) from feedstock also sourced from the circular economy. This will allow for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings of at least 65% compared with traditional fossil fuels.
DRIVERS’ CATEGORISATION AND LINE-UPS
According to their race record and achievements, the drivers of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) are categorised by a dedicated committee of the FIA as follows: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Hypercar: No Bronze drivers admitted
LMGTE Pro: Composition of drivers’ line-ups is free
LMP2: A 2 or 3-driver line-up must include at least 1 Silver or Bronze driver
LMGTE Am: A 2 or 3-driver line-up must include at least 1 Bronze driver and 1 Bronze or Silver driver.
Notwithstanding the above, a dedicated committee, composed of an FIA representative, an ACO representative and a representative of the promoter LMEM, may grant a temporary dispensation from the rule on the composition of crews on the request of the Competitor provided that this dispensation:
- does not compromise track safety;
- does not generate a sporting advantage in relation to the other crews entered in the same category.
Introduced in 2021, there is a specific classification in the LMP2 category for teams who have Bronze drivers. The best LMP2 Pro/Am crew (including a Bronze driver) is also be included on the LMP2 podium:
1. Classification of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Pro/Am teams
2. Classification of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Pro/Am drivers
EQUIVALENCE SYSTEMS (PERFORMANCE AND TECHNOLOGIES)
An equivalence system named "Balance of Performance" (BoP) applies to cars entered in the Hypercar, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am categories. The aim of BoP is to allow cars of different engineering designs to compete in the same category. The Endurance Committee will make adjustments to the BoP:
- As provided for in the Technical Regulations
- Through dedicated Endurance Committee decisions
In order to ensure sporting equality, the FIA and the ACO rely on the Balance of Performance formula developed jointly by the two parties. The Hypercar BoP has been tailored specifically for the needs of the new category, leaning of the knowledge and experience gained over the years.
The FIA and the ACO have a long history of using BoP, having started in GT racing the mid-2000s, and is constantly improving the process. The best practices and learnings were taken into account in developing the Hypercar BoP.
One of the most innovative solutions is the use of torque meters, allowing for better control of the powertrain parameters on track. These sensors, resistant to electromagnetic field and heat, are implemented onto the driveshafts of the cars to measure and limit the BoP-allocated power. This recently developed technology is effective in limiting development costs.
In 2021 and 2022, grandfathered non-hybrid LMP1 cars are permitted to race with Hypercars in the top category, with their performance balanced out. In 2022 the regulations will allow LMDh cars, developed jointly by the ACO and IMSA and sharing some parts of the car with the next generation of LMP2 cars, to race in the Hypercar class of the WEC alongside the Hypercar machinery.
The FIA and the ACO do not wish to encourage LMP2 manufacturers to pursue performance developments. The main goals for LMP2 cars must be reliability, safety and low maintenance costs.
LMGTE BALANCE OF PERFORMANCE
The GTE cars are based on production models and are fundamentally different from each other. To create a more level playing field for competition, regulators have the ability to apply fine adjustments in the performance of individual cars to allow each model to be competitive.
Adjustments to the balance of performance for cars entered in the LMGTE Pro category during the season are made automatically after certain rounds, according to evaluation criteria defined and agreed by all parties before the start of the season
A calculation tool allows the targets for balancing the different car models to be met, without human interpretation or decision-making, using mathematical formulas based on the quantified, specific, measured data obtained during each race.
The following modifications may be applied:
• Minimum weight of the car
• Engine air restrictor and boost pressure ratio
• Fuel tank capacity
• Any other technical modification that the WEC Committee may deem necessary
Success ballast will be imposed for LMGTE Am cars entered in the Championship. It will be in effect at all Competitions, except for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The ballast calculation system uses the results of previous races (if any have been held) and championship positions, provided that all cars start any given season with a ballast of 0 kilogrammes.
There will be a limitation on testing days in the Hypercar category from this season. They have been summarised below:
- 10 days maximum (closed and open tests) per car entered in the championship
- 20 days maximum (closed and open tests) per competitor
- Each competitor will have a maximum of four days of closed private testing
Dry weather tyres have also been limited for Hypercar testing. However, the limits of private testing do not concern competitors entered with a car the model of which is in its first season following its date of homologation.
LMP2 and LMGTE Am classes will also benefit from additional testing mileage while LMGTE Pro will have the same limitations as in 2021. Declaration of testing will still be mandatory.
COST SAVING MEASURES
As part of ongoing efforts to implement cost-saving measures, competitors in Hypercar will be restricted to 40 operational staff or 43 for cars with hybrid systems (except for 24 Hours of Le Mans). The previously introduced changes making participation more cost-effective include an exclusive use of sea freight for events taking place overseas. In order to take into account the current economic crisis, this season will take place over a reduced number of races (six) compared to previous years.
Dry weather tyres:
Wet weather tyres:
Unless specifically authorised in the present Regulations, wet weather tyres may be used only after the track has been declared ‘wet’ by the Clerk of the Course / Race Director. The number of wet weather tyres usable during a Competition is not limited.
This area has been simplified for 2022 and now states that across all categories, any driver who has driven less than one hour in total will not score points in the championship, in addition to the penalties applicable under these regulations. Driver times for six and eight hour races have also been amended. For a 6 hour race, the minimum driving time for a Silver or Bronze rated driver in LMP2 is 1h15 and for LMGTE Am, it is 1h45. During an 8 hour race, minimum driving time for Silver and Bronze drivers in LMP2 will be two hours and in LMGTE Am it will be 2h20.
If a driver does not achieve his/her minimum driving time, a penalty will be imposed by the Stewards, up to disqualification.
If a driver exceeds his/her maximum driving time, a penalty will be imposed by the Stewards, up to disqualification.
On the decision of the Race Director, the safety car may be deployed to neutralise a race if competitors or officials are in immediate physical danger but the circumstances are not such as to necessitate stopping the race, to start a race in exceptional conditions (e.g. poor weather), to pace a rolling start and to resume a suspended race.
The safety car is designed or adapted for high performance circuit driving and with power adequate to maintain speeds at which the types of cars competing in the event can follow it without compromising their normal function. The safety car must be marked "SAFETY CAR" in letters of appropriate dimensions similar to those of the race numbers, on the rear and sides. It must have at least one clearly visible yellow or orange light on the roof and a green light showing to the rear, each powered by a different electrical circuit. It will be driven by an experienced circuit driver. It will carry an observer capable of recognising all the competing cars, and who is in permanent radio contact with race control.
There will be only one safety car in operation at a time, except for circuits of over 7 km in length, where other safety cars, positioned at intermediate points around the circuit, can be authorised by the FIA.
When the order is given to deploy the safety car, all marshal posts will display waved yellow flags and "SC" boards and the orange lights at the Line will be illuminated for the duration of the intervention. The safety car will start from the pit lane with its orange lights illuminated and will join the track regardless of where the race leader is. All the competing cars must then form up in line behind the safety car no more than five car lengths apart.
When the Race Director calls in the safety car, its orange lights will be extinguished; this will be the signal that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap. At this point, the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, be more than five car lengths behind it. Each lap completed while the safety car is deployed will be counted as a race lap.
CONDITIONS FOR CLASSIFICATION
The car placed first is the one that covered the greatest distance up to the showing of the chequered flag (the position of the cars on the starting grid is not taken into account).
To be classified, a car must:
a) Cross the finish line on the race track when the chequered flag is shown, except in a case of force majeure at the Stewards’ discretion. It is prohibited to stop on the race track pending the
showing of the chequered flag;
b) Have covered at least 70% of the distance covered by the car classified in first place in the overall classification.
c) The official number of laps will be rounded down to the nearest whole number.