WMSC confirms Le Mans date, approves minor WEC and FE rule changes

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The FIA has announced the decisions taken by the World Motor Sport Council on Friday, including confirmation of the date for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans and the approval of new technical regulations in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s privateer LMP1 class.

Following the FIA Sport Conference in Turin, the WMSC met to discuss plans for 2017, although no decisions exclusively linked to Formula 1 were taken.

LE MANS DATE, LMP1-L TECH CHANGES CONFIRMED

Ahead of last weekend’s race at Le Mans, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced that the 2017 edition would take place on June 17-18, with WMSC confirmation following today.

“The following dates for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans have been approved for 17 and 18 June 2017 – the test day will be on 4 June 2017,” part of the statement read.

“The remaining FIA World Endurance Championship calendar will be approved at a later date.”

At the same presentation by the ACO, the planned changes to the technical regulations for the privateer LMP1 class (LMP1-L) in the WEC for 2017 were also confirmed, again being ratified by the WMSC on Friday. These are:

  • Increase of chord and width of rear wing
  • Increase of width of front part of the bodywork
  • Lower minimum weight 830kg
  • Only one fuel flow meter
  • No required torquemeter
  • No engine quantity limitation
  • No restriction in engine capacity

FORMULA E GETS MINOR REG CHANGES, BUT NO CALENDAR

With the finale of Formula E’s second season just over one week away, plans for the third campaign are in full swing and a calendar had been expected to receive approval from the WMSC.

However, the only Formula E-related decisions come in the sporting regulations, where three minor changes have been made for the 2016-2017 season:

  • Introduction of licence points, similar to that used in Formula One
  • Awarding only one point for the fastest lap in a race instead of two
  • Introduction of a “Power Ramp Down” when the consumption limit is exceeded

According to a report from Autosport, the draft calendar – including new races in Montreal and New York – that arose over the Berlin ePrix weekend was put to the WMSC, only to be rejected.

SAFETY BONUS INTRODUCED TO FIA CHAMPIONSHIPS

As part of the work by the FIA Safety Commission, a new ‘safety bonus’ has been introduced to championships under the umbrella of the federation, tying in with the superlicence points system introduced last year.

“For the FIA Championships where a penalty points system is in place, any driver having competed in the entire championship without being given any penalty point will be granted a ‘Safety Bonus’ – an additional two points on top of their achieved [superlicence] points,” the statement reads.

“Both the FIA Formula E Championship and the International V8 Supercars Championship have been added to the superlicence points system.”

To see the full statement including changes for the FIA World Rally Championship, FIA F3, plans for an FIA F4 World Final and other decisions take, click here.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”