As predicted at the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Fuji, only the Aston Martin Racing and Ferrari AF Corse entries have had BoP alterations ahead of the final WEC round of 2018: the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
The automated BoP system applies changes every two races, but as the Aston Martins and the Ferraris were given a “black-ball rule” BoP change at Silverstone, they have fallen out of sequence with the other competitors in the class. It is now expected that Aston Martin and Ferrari-running teams will get their alterations one race, with Ford, Porsche and BMW getting theirs in the alternating races.
However, in an attempt to keep the GTE Pro cars ahead of the GTE Ams, all manufacturers have been given a five kilogram weight reduction this weekend.
For AF Corse, this sees their weight remain as it was in Fuji, at 1280kg, as they were given a five kilogram increase for Shanghai. This therefore cancels out the class reduction.
Ferrari were the fastest running cars at the Japanese round, and could have easily taken class victory had they not encountered issues. A BoP increase was slightly expected for those cars leading up to the final round of 2018 in Shanghai.
For Aston Martin, the change works in their favour, as not only do they get the class five kilogram reduction, but also see a one kilogram weight-break, making them six kilograms lighter than they were at the last race. They have also had a small increase in power.
Joining for their first WEC race since the 6 Hours of COTA in 2014, Corvette Racing have also been given a BoP for the weekend. Their weight will be 1276kg, making the Ferraris the heaviest cars out on track, and 30.6mm engine air-restrictors. Comparisons to their 24 Hours of Le Mans BoP is difficult as the blue riband event always receives its own BoP regulations to cater for those cars entering the event as a one off.
Friday will be the first indicator of how close the BoP has pulled the field, in reference to the first race of the season (6 Hours of Spa–Francorchamps), but John Gaw from Aston Martin Racing feels that the BoP now should have the cars evenly matched.
Six GTE Pro manufacturers will take to the track this weekend, and hopefully these BoP changes will see the grid battling wheel-to-wheel for the six hour endurance event.