How does the Balance of Performance (BoP) work?

The Balance of Performance, or BoP, is a central element in the balance of performance between the different competitors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We explain to you how this is established by the FIA ​​and the ACO.

Published on 11/06/2024 à 16:47

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How does the Balance of Performance (BoP) work?

© Thomas Fenetre / DPPI

What is the balance of performance (BoP)? The BoP is an essential element of the Hypercar and LMGT3 regulations. Through technical adjustments, particularly in terms of weight and power, it allows cars of different design and architecture to compete against each other. Thus, the BoP maintains a similar level of performance between all cars, thus helping to drastically limit development costs. Each of the manufacturers present on the grid accepted these fundamental principles before entering the World Championship.Endurance of the FIA ​​and 24H of Le Mans. The BoP therefore actively contributes to the historical richness of our grids, with 14 manufacturers represented in 2024.

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In detail, the BoP aims to balance the performance potential of cars, that is to say, it assumes that each car is exploited to the maximum of its possibilities. The BoP is therefore not intended to correct the performance differences observed between two cars of the same brand, nor to allow an abnormally slow competitor to catch up in its entirety. Finally, it does not replace operational performance, whether it concerns tire management, driver skills, time spent in the pits or race strategy, which are all determining and major factors. in building overall performance.

How is the Performance Balance established?

The BoP is established jointly by the FIA ​​and the ACO, in close collaboration with the manufacturers involved. It is based on the one hand on the data measured during the car homologation process and on the other hand, concerning the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, on the individual performance of each manufacturer, observed on the track at using different sensors and indicators.

For the Hypercar category, the BoP is defined in three successive stages. Firstly, the FIA ​​and the ACO balance the "homologation parameters", i.e. the technical characteristics observed during homologation, during which cars are inspected, measured and passed through wind tunnel. It is necessary to remember that the cars competing in the Hypercar category are homologated within a very narrow aerodynamic performance window and are already very close to each other before this first stage.

The second step consists of “platform compensation”. Within the Hypercar category, two different technical regulations coexist: the Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh) regulations, which are based on common parts and the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations, which give greater freedom to manufacturers. These two regulations are extremely close, but their different design may require performance adjustments. To do this, “platform compensation” applies to all cars of the same type, taking into account the performance of the best LMDh type car and the best LMH type car.

Finally, the last step – “manufacturer compensation” – takes into consideration the individual performance of each manufacturer based on data collected during the race. It is important to emphasize that “manufacturer compensations”, whatever their nature, are carried out sparingly and only when the data is considered sufficiently robust, which takes several races.

Concerning the LMGT3, the process is identical, with the exception of “platform compensation” which does not apply, since all cars are built around a single technical regulation. A weight handicap, based on the championship ranking, is added to each race with the exception of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

How does this process apply to the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

For the Hypercar category, the BoP of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is subject to specific treatment, which takes into account in particular data from the 24 Hours of the previous year. It does not necessarily have a direct link with the BoPs published for previous races, such as the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

For 2024, the analyzes carried out by the FIA ​​and the ACO and the restrictive nature of the applicable technical regulations result in a very non-interventionist BoP: only the “homologation parameters” are corrected, on the basis of measured data. The weight and power corrections are adapted on this basis to the Le Mans circuit, but no platform or manufacturer compensation is applied, which will further highlight the merits of each manufacturer.

A purely technical measure has also been introduced: the differentiation of low and high speed powers. This does not modify the BoP but modulates the power delivered at high speed in order to balance the top speeds without causing excessive weight or power correction.

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Thierry Pingret

11/06/2024 at 08:09 a.m.

or how to win your favorite manufacturer

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