Three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer hopes the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will not see Toyota dominate and make the series a “one-man show” this season. 

Toyota is the sole hybrid racing in the WEC in 2018/19 following the departure of rival manufacturer Porsche at the end of last year, but has been joined in the LMP1 class by a raft of privateer non-hybrid teams for the 13-month ‘super season’.

Three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer will make his first appearance for LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing on Saturday at Spa, having lost his Porsche seat following its exit from the class at the end of last year.

The race will mark Lotterer’s first appearance in a non-hybrid car in the WEC, and while he is relishing the challenge, he is wary of Toyota running away with proceedings.

“There’s quite a lot of difference to drive the car. We have quite good downforce so the car is fun in the corners, and everything is a lot more simple,” Lotterer said.

“You don’t have all the systems, the hybrid. It involves a lot of programming to run the hybrid car with four-wheel drive. So here we can focus a lot more on fine-tuning the setup.

“We have a lot of work to still with the car, it's quite new. We need to improve it a lot and be comfortable with everything. But the potential is quite good.

“I hope we can have a good battle with everyone, and that it will not just be a one-man show.”

Officials from the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest pushed to ensure there would be close competition between hybrid and the non-hybrid teams in LMP1 through ‘Equivalence of Technology’ rules, putting limitations in place to restrict the Toyotas

However, this did not stop the Japanese manufacturer from finishing more than two seconds clear of the rival LMP1 teams in second practice on Thursday afternoon at Spa, with stint length limits also already being placed on the privateer outfits.

 

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