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WEC: Championship leading Audi hit with fine and engine penalty

Jack Hunsley

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Sep 26, 2010
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#7 Audi.png

It has been confirmed that the #7 Audi, which currently tops the WEC Drivers' championship, has just one brand new engine remaining for the rest of the 2015 WEC season after a mixup with the electronic engine seals meant that the ACO could not read the data on the #7 car.

After running into issues during the Le Mans weekend it appears that two seals, which are used to police engine usage and are electronically monitored, were broken during the weekend, with the blame for the mistake being placed on human error after Audi team members allegedly altered the position of the seals.

As a result Audi have been given a €50,000 fine and have been ordered to pay for the cost of the hearing as well. Meanwhile the championship leading #7 Audi of André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benôit Treluyer has been adjudged to have already used four of their allocation five brand new engines for the season, leaving the #7 with just one new engine to use for the remaining five races.

On the decision Audi have taken full reponsibilty for the error with Chris Reinke, the Head of the Audi LMP1 program, admitting to the hearing that "There was an error with the handling of the electronic engine seals on the #7 car" and that Audi "have already investigated the matter."

The exact impact this decision may have remains to be seen, however should the #7 car have to use a sixth new engine this season then they will incur a three-minute stop and go penalty.

The next round of the 2015 WEC season will be held at the Nürburgring on 30th August.
 

Andrew

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Thanks for this article m8. Shared on FB and Twitter, as always. ;)
 

Patrik Marek

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that sucks, why can't they let people race? why these silly number of engines per season, number of tires per session - to save costs, sure, but at what price ? same - or even worse - situation is in F1
 
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Torcano

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The 50k is all fine and dandy for a huge team like Audi but the 3 min stop-go penalty will cause some issues given how close the racing is in the P1 category. We know the engines are bulletproof but I'm certain they are gonna have to change it for the final two races atleast because I don't think running those final races with an engine with a substantial drop in performance from all the wear is gonna outweigh a 3 min handicap.
 
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Roy Magnes

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That mistake can prove to be costly when the points wil be added up at the end of the season!
 

Dan Allen

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Dec 29, 2013
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that sucks, why can't they let people race? why these silly number of engines per season, number of tires per session - to save costs, sure, but at what price ? same - or even worse - situation is in F1
Because there has to be limits. Imagine of you had a super rich team who could keep chucking engines in the cars every race, then you had a super "poor" (I use that lightly) team who could only afford 1 engine every 2-3 races. The poor team would be at a disadvantage and would have to nurse their car more, therefore they couldn't race properly.

Same with tyres. The rule creates a bit of equality. But in F1, the money is so fvcked up that there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
 

Patrik Marek

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Because there has to be limits. Imagine of you had a super rich team who could keep chucking engines in the cars every race, then you had a super "poor" (I use that lightly) team who could only afford 1 engine every 2-3 races. The poor team would be at a disadvantage and would have to nurse their car more, therefore they couldn't race properly.

Same with tyres. The rule creates a bit of equality. But in F1, the money is so fvcked up that there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
yes, I do get this point of view, but the motorsport - and even more so the absolute pinnacles - should be about what's tecnically possible and not to keep more guys in who would normally not be able to afford it

it's like if you came with old GT car into championship and then all the teams would have to balance their cars so that you can race with them ,

I disagree with that point of view,
yes more variety is great for sure , but in F1 for example, I don't think that the teams at are at the bottom really belong into that championships

it's not for everyone sadly
if you can't afford top lever LMP1, go to LMP2 or LMP3
 

Dan Allen

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yes, I do get this point of view, but the motorsport - and even more so the absolute pinnacles - should be about what's tecnically possible and not to keep more guys in who would normally not be able to afford it

it's like if you came with old GT car into championship and then all the teams would have to balance their cars so that you can race with them ,

I disagree with that point of view,
yes more variety is great for sure , but in F1 for example, I don't think that the teams at are at the bottom really belong into that championships

it's not for everyone sadly
if you can't afford top lever LMP1, go to LMP2 or LMP3
But surely if everybody if everybody went into different classes, you'll find that some classes are more full up than others?
 

Patrik Marek

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but wouldn't you agree that for racing it's better to be racing amongs the best LMP3 or GT cars, then being by far slowest LMP1 car ?
 

Dan Allen

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Dec 29, 2013
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but wouldn't you agree that for racing it's better to be racing amongs the best LMP3 or GT cars, then being by far slowest LMP1 car ?
Give me a while. I know what I want to say, but I"m not quite sure how to say it...

EDIT:

OK, so... First of all, I can't remember how many cars are in each class off the top of my head, but lets take Audi, Porsche & Toyota as examples. If they were the only 3 manufacturers who could afford to be in the LMP1 category, that would only be 9 cars in LMP1 class. If you moved the poorer teams to lower classes, you may for example end up with about 30+ in each remaining catergory (LMP2/LMP3/GT's). This would slow the entire race down simply because they're slower cars.

That's why I'm glad we have the engine/tyre limits. It lets people compete in a higher category who possibly couldn't afford it otherwise.
 
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Feb 4, 2012
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I think there is a big diffrence to F1. In this case Audi made a mistake with the seals and these things are naturally punished really hard, because that could open up possibilities to breach some of the rules.

The engines are build to survive the 24h of LeMans the rest of the season are seven 6 hour races, so you are looking at another 42hours of racing. 5 engines for that is a very open policy to be honest. You can basically put in a fresh for nearly every race. I think they want to avoid that teams use two engines per weekend, which is not in the spirit of the sport and is just a pure waste of money, that was nothing to do with "what you can afford". The performance gain is not that big and you will end up with one manufacturer in LMP1 and that was booring in the past!

With the energy regulations etc. the engines should be fine to run two or three 6 hour races and at the end it is endurance racing, so the cars and engines need to survive longer races. Looking at the numbers they should be fine with three or four engines a year, so the policy is a lot more realistic compared to F1, so nothing to complain.
 

Arne Dopudja

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They, like in any sport, should just limit the budget, which would include driver salaries aswell and set the same for all teams. Size regulations for vehicle and some standardized safety features. Then let the manufacturers loose. Then and only then would engineers focus 100% on new innovation not 100% on how to bypass the regulations to win.
 

John Peat

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Because there has to be limits. Imagine of you had a super rich team who could keep chucking engines in the cars every race, then you had a super "poor" (I use that lightly) team who could only afford 1 engine every 2-3 races. The poor team would be at a disadvantage and would have to nurse their car more, therefore they couldn't race properly.
Problem is that the cost of developing a car/engine etc. is massive compared to the cost of making just 1 car/engine - so you're penny-pinching, you're preventing spending pennies when the pounds are flying-out.

Where you have a 'manufacturer vs manufacturer' competition - cost limits are completely pointless - they only work where you have a thriving aftermarket for chassis/engines (e.g. GT3) to prevent people coming in and turning-everything-up-to-11 and throwing-away the broken bits.
 

Patrik Marek

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They, like in any sport, should just limit the budget, which would include driver salaries aswell and set the same for all teams. Size regulations for vehicle and some standardized safety features. Then let the manufacturers loose. Then and only then would engineers focus 100% on new innovation not 100% on how to bypass the regulations to win.
this would actually be quite interesting , here's your money and decide where you want to spend it the most
 

Arne Dopudja

Leader of the infamous Chevy Gang.
Jul 26, 2011
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this would actually be quite interesting , here's your money and decide where you want to spend it the most
This is what F1 was back in the day (And any other racing pretty much). Everybody had so much money that they leapfrogged eachother. However as time passed you see what happened.

It would be epic, to see bespoke cars with money put into drifferent things, and not only performance wise but durability aswell!
 

Mircea Rad

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I, for one, think that the WEC regulations are extremely well thought and work very well. Think about the different engine designs in LMP1 and remember Silverstone. That was an absolute thriller race. The regulations are very well designed so that it gives a large degree of freedom to manufacturers but also level out the competition, so that the racing is competitive but also close, which in the end it's what matters for a fan.

Also the regulations need to provide a safe investment plan in order to attract new manufacturers. Nobody will throw money at any racing program without expecting a return of investment, being testing technology, racing fame, brand awareness, etc. It's the only way to keep the motor sport alive. The days where guys like Colin Chapman could create a competitive racing car in his garage just by being the smartest "out there" are long gone :)

Yes, rules are tough and, as a driver, getting this kind of penalties sucks, but in the end it's a team sport.
 
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Emery

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When you have silly money to spend, you buy qualifying engines that are higher output & not built to last for many hours of competition. Burn through a couple of those to gain grid position. Swap the engine before racing so you can finish the endurance race.

Most series quickly realize this is not healthy for the sport and amend rules to prevent it. Parc ferme, etc.
 

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