Aston Martin expects favourable BoP change for Le Mans 24 Hours
|By Gary Watkins||Wednesday, June 6th 2018, 11:03 GMT|
Aston Martin is confident of a Le Mans 24 Hours rules adjustment in its favour after its new Vantage GTE proved five seconds off the pace in testing last weekend.
The British manufacturer believes that last Sunday's official test day for the 24 Hours on June 16-17 provided conclusive proof that the second-generation Vantage GTE needs a helping hand under the Balance of Performance in the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro class.
It claimed that the speed trap figures from both Le Mans at the weekend and the opening round of the WEC at Spa last month proved that new car needed a revised BoP to boost its straightline speed.
Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw told Autosport: "The Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the FIA [which write the rules] know we are missing top speed, because it was the same as at Spa.
"They clearly wanted to see it again with the car in Le Mans configuration, so we are confident that there will be a change in time for the race."
The rule makers reserve the right to change the BoP for Le Mans, which operates outside of the automatic system for the six-hour WEC races introduced last year, ahead of and during the week of the race.
The new Aston was 15km/h slower through the speed trap than the quickest of the GTE Pro contenders, the Ford GT, over the course of the test.
This figure is misleading because the Ford, which was 5km/h clear of its nearest rival, posted these speeds in the morning when it was running ultra low downforce.
Gaw said the new Aston's split times through the Porsche Curves proved its competitiveness elsewhere on the long Le Mans lap.
Aston driver Alex Lynn was fifth fastest in class through the Porsche Curves.
The best time for an Aston, Lynn's 3m57.488s, compared with 3m52.551s set by Porsche driver Patrick Pilet to top the test day classification in GTE Pro.
Porsche, which blocked out the top two times at the test, has expressed confidence that the organisers will not be fooled by a manufacturer trying to hide performance ahead of the race to obtain a favourable BoP.
Porsche's director of GT factory motorsport, Pascal Zurlinden, explained that all the cars with the exception of the Aston were known quantities.
"Our car and the Ford are well known, and so too is the Ferrari [488 GTE 'evo'] because it is only really an aerodynamic upgrade," he told Autosport.
"The BMW is new, but it has already done four races in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, so there is a lot of data available.
"There is no reason for us to worry."