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24/02/2018 Toyota wants different technology levels in WEC's LMP1 from 2020/21 - Section : Article

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon (S 1985) told Autosport: "We want to have a development incentive in many areas, especially in hybrid systems and combustions engines, but we accept and make proposals to really limit the performance impact of this development."

Toyota wants cars with different levels of technology to compete together when new LMP1 rules come into force for the 2020/21 World Endurance Championship.

The Japanese manufacturer has proposed that manufacturers should be allowed to continue developing hybrid and other technologies in LMP1, but that their effect on performance be limited.

Vasselon believes that the Equivalence of Technology system can be used to balance cars of different technological specifications in the future in the same way as it will equate the lap times of the non-hybrid privateer LMP1 cars and Toyota's TS050 HYBRIDs for the next two WEC seasons.

Vasselon's comments follow WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, also the organiser of the Le Mans 24 Hours, proposing the idea of simpler and less powerful hybrid systems in the name of cost reduction.

ACO president Pierre Fillon suggested last month that he envisaged the new-rules manufacturer P1 cars having "more power from the [internal combustion] engine and less from the hybrid".

Vasselon reiterated the importance of technology in Toyota's racing programme in the WEC.

Vasselon would not be drawn on what level of hybrid power or the number of systems Toyota is proposing for a new set of rules that are likely to allow manufacturers to style LMP1s in the image of their high-performance road cars.

"This is far beyond what we are discussing at the moment; we are discussing much more basic things," he said.

Toyota Gazoo Racing team director Rob Leupen, who attended the latest round of rules meetings last week, floated some ideas for the future direction of LMP1.

"Why shouldn't one super sportscar with two hybrid systems be raced in 2020, another with one, a hypercar with all-wheel-drive and another not?" he said.
"As long as there is such a thing as EoT, which I consider to be the most intelligent solution in the present day, then it is alright."

The ACO and the FIA, which jointly write the LMP1 rule book, are aiming to announce the future direction of the category during Le Mans week in June.

Autosport - By Gary Watkins Published on Friday February 23rd 2018

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