24h Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans 2015 - Innovations
Every year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans press conference, improvements are announced. Though most of the 2015 innovations concern safety, cost reduction and fairness relative to competitors have not been overlooked.
As is always the case before each running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, considerable improvements have been made in the area of safety. For the 83rd edition, large-scale efforts have been carried out between the Mulsanne hairpin and the Porsche corners with particular emphasis on making the latter even safer.
In order to rationalise the division of the 24 Hours circuit thus optimising the use of the slow zones, the sectors of the track have been completely revised. The slow zones put in place in 2014 will be modified in 2015 with an 80 km/h speed limit instead of 60 km/h.
The half-day’s training on a simulator that is mandatory for drivers never having raced in La Sarthe, or whom have not taken part in the event for five years (since 2010) brought in in 2014 is maintained. It has been extended to all bronze drivers who have not raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since the introduction of the slow zone.
As to cost reduction, the quantity of tyres (excluding rain tyres) availabe to each car is now limited, as is the number of engines, for the participants of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Maintaining a level playing field between drivers is structured as their weight will be taken into account and based on the average of the three helmeted and dressed drivers a corresponding ballast will be carried if it is less than 80 kg with the understanding the weight of the drivers can be checked at random at any moment during practice and the race.
A minimum driving time will be imposed. It will be four hours over 24 hours. The maximum driving time remains unchanged: no more than four hours per six-hour period and 14 hours over the full 24.
Lastly, a new race director will take the reins in 2015. Race direction will now be the responsibility of Eduardo Freitas, race director for all the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) races, and he will be assisted by Patrick Morisseau.