The FIA and Automobile Club de l’Ouest have announced that an automatic Balance of Performance (BoP) system will be used in the World Endurance Championship’s GTE Pro class in 2017.
Following controversy surrounding the implementation of BoP in GTE Pro throughout the 2017 season – most notably at Le Mans when changes were made the day before the race – a new automated system designed to remove human influence will be used this year.
“Adjustments to the balance of performance for cars entered in the LMGTE Pro category during the season will now be made automatically after certain rounds, according to evaluation criteria defined and agreed by all parties before the start of the season,” a statement from the WEC reads.
“A calculation tool has been created which will allow the targets for balancing the different car models to be met without human interpretation or decision-making, and using mathematical formulas based on the quantified, public, specific, measured data obtained during each race.”
The new system will be applied at all rounds except Le Mans, which will be judged separately.
All manufacturers have agreed that no adjustments will be made until after the first two races at Silverstone and Spa to avoid an overreaction. As a result, the first adjustments will be made for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring in July.
This year’s GTE Pro class features eight full-season entries, with Ferrari, Ford, Porsche and Aston Martin each fielding two cars.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.