Judd Surges V-10 Engine Development For LMP1 Privateer Entrants
Oh yes, natural aspiration is coming back to Le Mans.
Judd, best known for its Le Mans engine building program, is reportedly making a strong comeback to the 24-hour race in 2018. According to a recent release from the company, the British outfit is pushing development for privateer LMP1 entrants for next year's race, reviving the non-hybrid segment of the World Endurance Championship's top prototype class. Judd will be collaborating with AIM to build these 5.5L naturally aspirated V-10 engines that are based on successful past sportscar powerplants.
These Judd-AIM units will be designed to match new WEC regulations that allow non-turbocharged, non-hybrid prototypes to be more competitive with other factory-backed cars of the like. The refreshed set of rules has been instated to cut costs and lure in teams to the category as it has dwindled to one manufacturer team with Porsche leaving after 2018. As it seems, Toyota will remain as the only automaker-supported entry next season.
Judd believes these engines to be majorly viable in comparison to similarly tuned turbo units, but without the hassles of unreliability and lag. The Engine Developments Inc. subbrand states that its 5.5L V-10 can "deliver extremely competitive lap times without the problems of throttle response, complexity, and reliability associated with turbocharged engines."
The crew is ready to compete and supply for next year's Le Mans program as it continued in an official statement.
"The expected technical regulations in LMP1 will guarantee parity of performance between various engine types used through a rigorous homologation procedure.
"We, therefore, believe the V-10 platform should be the natural choice for any LMP1 team that is serious about having a trouble-free run in the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours."
This announcement reveals the potential for the continuation of WEC's fastest class, and with Judd marketing towards these newfound privateer entries, it could also help to build value in the series to other possible participants. After all, Toyota itself claimed that there must be non-hybrid competition to keep LMP1 alive. Otherwise, fans would become bored of "Toyota playing alone, 10 laps in front."