Audi‘s podium sweep at this years 24 Hours of Le Mans might just be the last time diesels dominate the series. The Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), which runs the endurance classic, has announced rule changes for next year’s season that will see the elimination of the GT1 Class and changes to the LMP2 class, with all three levels allowing teams to run hybrid powertrains.
In 2009 Corsa Motorsports ran a hybrid LMP1 racer while the ACO monitored the car and now teams who wish to compete with hybrid power will be able to. The change of rules likely came with pressure from Porsche, which displayed its GT3 R Hybrid at this year’s Le Mans race but which wasn’t allowed to race. Porsche recently proved the capability of the car at the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race after leading the race outright for eight hours before an engine failure caused the team to retire.
Additional rule changes for the combined LMP class include a maximum engine size that is limited to 3.4-liters for naturally aspirated powerplants and 2.0-liters for turbocharged units, regardless of whether they are gasoline or diesel.
It is expected that the new ACO rules will be adopted by the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for next year.
[Source: SPEED TV]