D he ACO wants his final draft rule for Publish in mid-February 2011, 60 percent of the provisions are fixed. As sources from England and France unanimously report, the entire range of energy recovery systems should be included in the regulations. ACO Sports Director Vincent Beaumesnil confirms: “We have been in a constructive dialogue with the manufacturers regarding hybrid technology for some time. The ACO wants to allow hybrid systems and guarantees the fair classification and control of these systems. When manufacturers bring new technologies to the start, they also need the chance to fight for victory. The same also applies to those teams that rely on traditional technologies. So we will have to balance different technologies against each other. '
Balance between the systems difficult to control
But this is exactly where the dog is buried : The electronically regulated feed-in of additional services is not considered by experts to be controllable or verifiable. In previous years, the Le Mans organizer ACO failed in its attempt to strike a fair balance between gasoline and diesel engines in the LMP1 class, which, for example, led to Aston Martin's withdrawal. Zytek engineer Pete May, who developed the hybrid LMP1 for the ALMS in 2009 and worked closely with the ACO to draft the hybrid rules for 2011, points out that the complex electronic controls could only be checked with enormous effort.
It is therefore more than likely that the limiting factor in this technology contest is the manufacturer's budget. The preliminary draft of the regulations already includes the approval of brake recuperation systems and the use of thermal energy, for example from the exhaust and the coolers. The KERS system with flywheel technology developed for Formula 1 is also to be used, provided this technology passes the safety check by the FIA. Even the use of solar technology by means of solar cells burnt into plastic and thus flexible, is up for grabs. The first draft of the rules says: 'The ACO wants to give manufacturers the greatest possible freedom to develop and use hybrid systems, but we will also take measures to control them.'
Hybrid systems should Fuel consumptionlower
The ACO is planning to equip the LMP1 cars with sensors that precisely identify the additional power output per lap. The power fed in should be limited. But the Williams flywheel system, for example, is already able to generate up to 100 kilowatts of power - and is thus well above the ACO limit. Zytek expects up to 35 kilowatts for its racing hybrid. 'The hybrid systems are not supposed to increase peak performance, but to reduce fuel consumption,' emphasizes Beaumesnil. “The ACO will therefore adjust the performance if a vehicle improves its lap times by using hybrid technology.” The question remains whether the ACO can correctly classify LMP1 vehicles with hybrid technology.