WEC: 2015 sporting regulations for series released by FIA

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Multiple tweaks have been made to the World Endurance Championship sporting regulations by the FIA ahead of the 2015 season, which begins April 12th at Silverstone.

A single LMP1 category will go into effect next season with the LMP1-H and LMP1-L classes now known as hybrid or non-hybrid respectively.

Qualifying will change as only one timed lap from two drivers will count towards the official time. Also, a Silver or Bronze-rated LMP2 driver or a Bronze-rated GTE-Am driver must be one of the qualifying drivers. The length of the sessions are also set to be reduced from 25 to 20 minutes.

Tire limits will also come into play. LMP1 teams will be limited to six sets of tires per six-hour race and four sets per practice. LMP2 cars will have four sets per race and three per practice, and GTE classes will have six sets per race and four per practice. Also, tire makers no longer have the right to refuse supply to teams.

Those are among the already approved changes but other potential changes are also possible according to John Dagys of SportsCar 365, and they could be approved during the next World Motor Sports Council meeting in March.

The potential changes include adjustments in drive time amounts for several categories; engine restrictions in the LMP1 category; driver weight/ballast rules; new testing rules, including what would be a mandatory rookie test from LMP1 manufacturers; and personnel restrictions in LMP1.

The WEC will once again visit the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in mid-September.

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

Petit Le Mans championship
IMSA
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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in the final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a victory over Pipo Derani in the the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

With the rebranding of DPi to GTP for the new LMDh cars, Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”