A meeting was called by WEC rule makers the FIA and the Automobile Club in Paris late last month at which changes to the current system for 2024 were discussed.
It is understood that the majority of manufacturers favoured maintaining the status quo and want to retain the current system introduced for this season, although it is far from clear if any final decisions were made.
Exact details of what was discussed have not been revealed: manufacturers are forbidden in the series’ sporting regulations from discussing the BoP and the FIA has declined to comment.
What was proposed appears to be to leave the building blocks of the current BoP, such as mitigation of the advantages of the four-wheel-drive Le Mans Hypercar hybrids, while abandoning what is regarded in some circles as an impossible attempt to exactly match the performance of the different cars.
It follows dissatisfaction with the system of BoP as it stands.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda said after its GR010 HYBRID LMH was beaten into second place by the Ferrari 499P LMH at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours that the Japanese manufacturer had “lost to politics.”
His comments referred to changes made to the BoP outside of the system introduced for 2023 in the run-up to the race.
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
The new-for-2023 BoP allows for minimal changes through the season: only the balance between LMH and LMDh machinery, the so-called platform BoP, could be changed ahead of Le Mans.
One-off wholesale changes to all cars, known as the manufacturer BoP, were possible post-Le Mans ahead of the Monza WEC round in July.
Ferrari offered veiled criticism of these changes after it finished second to Toyota on home ground: it said it raced at “a disadvantage” compared to its rivals courtesy of an “imposed limitation” without mentioning the BoP.
Ferrari is believed to be one of the manufacturers in favour of changes, while Toyota known to be another.
Porsche was likely to have been on those manufacturers against changes: head of motorsport Thomas Laudenbach has repeated said that he favours what he described as a more “reactive” BoP system.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe boss Pascal Vasselon labelled the current system at last month’s Fuji WEC round as “unsustainable because it removes any performance responsibility from manufacturers”.
“Reliability is getting better and better, team strategy is getting better and better, so we are going to end up in a situation where winning or losing a race will be the result of the inevitable inaccuracies of the BoP,” he told Motorsport.com.
#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
Photo by: Andy Chan
“And a BoP that promises zero performance gap between the cars is not realistic, and then you are in a never-ending story that people complain about the inaccuracies when they lose a race.
“Your readers don’t only want to read stories about the BoP and I don’t think that the fans expect to have Le Mans fully decided by the BoP in top-level endurance racing between high-profile manufacturers.
“BoP should make sure that all manufacturers are in the same competitive ballpark, but the responsibility for the last tenth, the one which makes that you win or lose a race, should go back to the manufacturers.”
Vasselon suggested that “some others share our view” and that “there is momentum for change”.