Diesels – Changes Expected
The ACO has issued a press release regarding its intentions with respect to diesel-engined prototypes in the near future.

“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has begun its analysis of the performances of the cars which took part in the 2006 «24 Heures du Mans» so that, as from September, in consultation with the IMSA (the Audi R10s are only racing in the ALMS for the remainder of 2006), it may be decided what measures are deemed necessary in order to equalise the performances in each category and for each technology.”

The ACO acknowledges that diesel-engined cars do have an advantage under the current rules (but makes the point that the club had to start from “a blank page, and without any help whatsoever, there being no such thing as a diesel engine in racing cars”).

“Regarding lap time, there is a difference of about 3.2 seconds (at Le Mans) in comparison with the highest-performing petrol-run car,” says the statement. “However, when considering this difference, we must take into account the improvements in performance which are linked to the chassis, the suspension, the aerodynamics, and of course to the engine. Just the advantage linked to the engine performance can lead us to take steps to reduce its performance, since all the other elements of the car are constructed according to the same specifications. It is therefore up to the manufacturer to produce the best car.”

Regarding fuel consumption, the ACO indicates that “tank capacity will have to be adjusted in such a way that the cars receive the same quantity of energy at each refuelling stop. This will mean a smaller tank for those cars which are equipped with a diesel engine.”

The next chance to compare the R10s with other prototypes will be at Miller Motorsports Park, for Round 5 of the ALMS - the meeting gets underway this evening.


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