Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
36 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
21 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
28 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
42 days
23 Apr
Next event in
49 days

GTE drivers welcome relaxation of "hated" stint rules

The relaxation of rules dictating maximum stint length in GTE Pro for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has been praised by drivers racing in the class.

GTE drivers welcome relaxation of "hated" stint rules

The FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's decision to mandate 14-lap stints for all six cars competing in GTE Pro at La Sarthe last year went down badly with many drivers and teams.

However, the rule has been scrapped this time around, and although the fuel capacity for each car in the class has been adjusted in a bid to engineer 14-lap stints in green-flag running, there is now the chance to go longer with the help of slow zones and safety cars.

Ford driver Richard Westbrook said he "hated" last year's rules, which he felt made it virtually impossible for any of Porsche's rivals to claw back the advantage of the 911 RSRs.

"It is bringing strategy back, which is what we needed," said Westbrook. "There was no way back from the hole we were in last year when you took all the strategy away.

"It seemed like a really odd thing to do to say, ‘you have to do 14 laps and that’s it’. Thank God they opened it up to what this sport is all about.

"Even if you don’t save enough fuel to do an extra lap, it’s gonna be less fuel at your pitstop, so your refill time is quicker. When you can’t overtake on track, [you can] save a bit of fuel, overtake in the pits."

One of Westbrook's teammates in the #69 Ford GT, IndyCar star Scott Dixon, added: "How people have raced in the past and how you can race now, [there] could be a huge swing.

"Some cars were just not worrying about saving fuel, so it definitely opens up some opportunities. I think it’s good because maybe a team that doesn’t have the speed maybe has the chance to eliminate a stop."

Aston Martin's Alex Lynn likewise welcomed the move, saying: "I don’t think anyone can do more [than 14 laps], at least under green, but it does open it up somewhat with safety car.

"It just puts a variant in it again. [Last year] it was a bit too rigid and a bit too boring, so at least now it’s playable."

Aston technical director Dan Sayers pointed out that the recent imposition of fuel flow meters for GTE cars by the FIA and the ACO made the 14-lap rule redundant.

"All the Pro cars run fuel-flow meters, so the ACO and FIA know how much fuel you use per lap," Sayers explained. "The capacity [of each car] will be adjusted so that everybody should only be able to do 14 laps.

"But if there are safety cars, long periods of slow zones, it brings more strategy into it. You can try and eke it out into 15. The [old] rule took a bit of strategy away, so this is a much better solution."

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren

#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Russ Gunn

#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Russ Gunn

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

shares
comments
Alonso: #8 Toyota "unlucky with traffic" in first qualifying

Previous article

Alonso: #8 Toyota "unlucky with traffic" in first qualifying

Next article

Vergne wants to "set the record straight" with G-Drive

Vergne wants to "set the record straight" with G-Drive
Load comments

About this article

Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Author Jamie Klein
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020
The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season Prime

The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season

It may have been missed amid the clamour over Lewis Hamilton's seventh F1 title, but Britain had another world champion crowned last weekend. Mike Conway's WEC crown raises an old conundrum - does title glory make up for the pain of Le Mans defeat?

WEC
Nov 19, 2020