Aston hits back at Bourdais WEC GTE Balance of Performance comments
|By Filip Cleeren||Monday, July 17th 2017, 14:20 GMT|
Aston Martin has refuted claims that its Vantage GTE car only manages to compete in the World Endurance Championship because of Balance of Performance.
Ahead of last month's Le Mans 24 Hours, Ford's Sebastien Bourdais suggested the GTE Pro division's BoP was keeping the older Vantage in the game at the expense of newer models, like the Ford GT.
Aston Martin went on to win its class in Le Mans with Darren Turner, Jonny Adam and Daniel Serra.
Speaking to Autosport at the WEC 6 Hours of Nurburgring, Aston Martin's vice president David King dismissed those claims.
"It's naive", King said of Bourdais' comments. "It shows a lack of understanding of what BoP is. Our car could go way faster as well.
"We're all breathing through two little air restrictors. It's not like we're maxed and therefore the rest has to slow down.
"We'd all like to throw away the BoP and go as fast as you can, but then you don't get a race.
"It just becomes dominated by manufacturers with the biggest budget.
"Everyone's got to get their chance to win every few years, otherwise they stop coming."
Last weekend's Nurburgring race was the first event where the new automatic BoP algorithm was used, which is totally separate to the system used to determine performance at Le Mans.
Based on performance parameters from the first two WEC rounds at Silverstone and Spa, the Aston Martin Vantage GTE was made 20kg lighter and gained an extra 0.1mm in engine air-restrictor diameter.
The Ford GT was 20kg heavier, while the Ferrari 488 and Porsche 911 remained untouched.
The #51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi won comfortably from the pair of factory Porsches, although the Aston, Porsche and Ford cars scrapped among each other for much of the race.
"It's a good system", King said. "I'm sure it'll produce some very consistent balances of performance.
"If you're going to have a mid-engined, turbocharged Ferrari, a rear-engined Porsche and a front-engined Aston, they're never going to be exactly the same on a race track, so you need performance compatibility.
"To think they got within a couple of tenths at Le Mans this year, that was a bloody good job by the ACO and the FIA.
"Le Mans was a separate case, but for the rest of the season the automatic BoP should take all of the politics and gameplay out of it.
"Then it comes truly down to the drivers and strategy on the day.
"There will always be some circuits that favour some type of car better than others, but that's the beauty of the diversity of the sport."