Alpine hit with BoP power reduction for Spa WEC

Alpine’s Gibson-engined A480 will run with a maximum power output of 410kw or 550bhp at the Spa 6 Hours on 7 May, a 20kW or 26bhp reduction on the figure the 4.5-litre normally-aspirated V8 was allowed at the Sebring 1000 Miles WEC season -opener in March.

The revised power for the French manufacturer’s grandfathered LMP1 car is the only change to the BoP in the Hypercar class for the second round of the championship on 7 May.

The minimum weight and maximum energy allowed per stint for the Oreca design that formerly raced in the WEC as the Rebellion R-13 are unchanged from their Sebring levels.

The Toyota and Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercars go into the six-hour race at Spa with the same BoP as at Sebring.

That means the minimum deployment speed of the Toyota GR010 Hybrid’s front-axle energy retrieval system is again 190km/h (118mph), which is an increase on the 120km/h and 150km/h allowed respectively in the dry and wet last year when this figure was part of the technical regulations rather than the BoP.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Toyota team principal and driver Kamui Kobayashi is confident the Japanese manufacturer will be more competitive than at the 2022 WEC opener at which the GR010 was approximately a second off the pace of the Alpine in the race.

“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.”

Lopez outlined an intent to make amends for his mistake at Sebring.

“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, he said.

“I hope we will be more competitive than we were in Sebring and be in a position to fight for the win.”

Watch WEC 6 Hours of Spa qualifying and the race live on (geo-restrictions may apply).

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