All change in GTE for Shanghai

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Both GTE classes competing at Shanghai next weekend for the fifth round of the transitional Super season of the World Endurance Championship next weekend appear to have been 'all thrown up into the air' again after sweeping adjustments have been made to almost every cars balance of performance after the previous and highly eventful round at Fuji last month.

Of course, at the previous round at Fuji, Aston Martin Racing enjoyed the benefit of a consistent BoP going into that round together with further development with their new for 2018 V8 Vantage GTE allowed the two GTE Pro cars to throw down the gauntlet to their class opposition to secure their cars first GTE pole for Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the #95 car with a supporting P3 start for Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn in the #97 car.

That early promise for the Pro cars unfortunately failed to last the course as changing conditions on the Fuji circuit (weather and incident related) forced all teams to made rapid decisions as to continuing car set up yet despite both cars again finishing the race, their final positions on the timing and scoring chart was disappointingly (for them) much lower than first hope.

That however was inversely to the fate enjoyed by the two GTE Am cars where for the #98 and #90 cars started from lower down the grid than first hoped to both finish (after numerous post race penalties were applied) on the podium with TF Sport's Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam nudging out Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda to the higher step.

This weeks announcement from the FIA's Endurance Committee sees almost every make and model of car running in both GTE classes affected by a change (positive or negative) of some description.

For the AMR Pro cars, Shanghai will see them race 6kg lighter, with fractionally more available boost but with 2 litres less fuel capacity. That should see the #97 and #95 cars run faster but with the price of a potential higher fuel consumption and distance. In GTE Am, both V8 Vantages will run 10kg heavier than Fuji with the only unchanged platform being the Ferrari 488 GTE's in the Am class.

The reasons for the these changes we don't yet know - we will leave that and refer you to those of permanent WEC media who know better than we do as it certainly goes against what was first laid out by the Championship and their automatic BoP system to limit the number of changes per season.

Photo credits - AMR / TF Sport

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