The FIA World Endurance Championship’s Balance of Performance has handed the Alpine A480 Gibson hypercar a power cut ahead of the second WEC round at Spa next month.
At the Spa 6 Hours on May 7, Alpine’s Gibson-engined A480 will have a maximum power output of 410kw or 550bhp, down 20kW or 26bhp from the amount the 4.5-litre normally-aspirated V8 was allowed at the WEC season-opening Sebring 1000 Miles in March.
The only change to the BoP in the Hypercar class for the second round of the championship on May 7 is the reduced power for the French manufacturer’s grandfathered LMP1 car.
However, the minimal weight and maximum energy allocated for the Oreca grandfathered car, which previously raced in the WEC as the Rebellion R-13 in LMP2, have not changed since Sebring.
On the other hand, Toyota and Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercars have the same BoP as they did at Sebring for the six-hour race at Spa.
This means the Toyota GR010 Hybrid’s front-axle energy recovery system’s minimum deployment speed is now 190km/h (118mph), up from 120km/h and 150km/h in the dry and wet last year, when this figure was part of technical regulations rather than the Balance of Power.
Kamui Kobayashi, the Toyota team boss and driver, believes the Japanese manufacturer will be more competitive than in the 2022 WEC opener, when the GR010 was about a second behind the Alpine in Sebring.
“We expect to be fighting at the front and everyone is fully committed to get our first win of the season,” said the Japanese driver, who failed to score points at Sebring after Jose Maria Lopez crashed the car they share with Mike Conway out of the race.
“Since Sebring, which was a disappointing result for us, the whole team has pushed hard to improve by working together with the drivers, particularly at our test in Portimao earlier this month.”
“We worked on some things for Spa as well, which should suit our car better than Sebring, where the bumps had a big impact on car balance and performance.”
Jose Maria Lopez stated his desire to make up for his Sebring error: “Sebring was a really disappointing result and I am still frustrated by what happened, so I am determined to make it up to Mike, Kamui and the whole team with a strong race in Spa,” the No.7 Toyota driver said.
“I hope we will be more competitive than we were in Sebring and be in a position to fight for the win.”