The organizer of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the ACO, is eager to continue its drive to equalize the performance of the gasoline and diesel-powered cars. Several steps were taken this year to peg back the performance of Audi and Peugeot and bring them into line with the pace of the quickest gasoline-powered cars, though the diesels remain firm favorites for victory on Sunday.
ACO general manager Remy Brouard believes this year's race will be much more closely fought, with engine restrictions and an extra 30kg restricting the diesels. And he says the event's governing body will continue to strive to give the gas cars the opportunity to compete for outright victory.
"We'll see the result on Sunday – a gasoline car was on pole at Sebring," said Brouard. "We're here to try to create a level playing field, I don't think the petrol manufacturers want to be separated [into a separate class].
"The hybrids [for 2010] add extra complexity, but we like that at the ACO and we don't do it too badly. We have Bernard Dudot on engines and Gordon Murray helping us on aero. If we need more expertise for the hybrids, we will get new people in."
ACO vice-president Pierre Fillon confirmed that the priorities for the regulations in the future are to reduce the speeds of the cars to maintain safety standards, to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, and the provide manufacturers with opportunity for innovation.