The FIA has announced that the Performance Factor, or Pf, the new classification methodology for Hill Climb cars, is to be expanded. Initially restricted to Category 1 production class cars, the Pf will soon be extended to prototypes and single-seaters. Pf will initially be applied to Category 2 cars on a trial basis in the 2023 European Hill Climb Championship before full integration into the regulations in 2024.
Hill Climb Commission president Dusan Koblisek commented. “The Performance Factor methodology is becoming the backbone of Hill Climbing sport. Two technical working groups have been set up to help monitor its application for closed cars and its launch for Category 2 cars. The Pf undoubtedly helps the regional, national and international development of Hill Climb and gives the discipline a consistent and harmonized technical approach, with inclusive virtues.”
The Performance Factor is a method of using easily measurable technical characteristics to give cars a Pf value which is used to classify the cars into different groups. Competitors input data about their car that represents the factors affecting the car’s performance. These factors, racing weight, engine, aerodynamic, transmission and chassis parameters are then used to create the Pf value.
In addition to the European Hill Climb Championships, Pf is used in a dozen national championships in Europe and the Middle East, the most recent adopters being Austria, Luxembourg and Germany. The FIA says that Pf in Category 1 is now well established, after three years of experimentation and two full seasons of European Championship use.
The new 2023 version of the Pf for Category 1 will be available online via www.fiaperformancefactor.com. The new version will require all drivers to obtain a technical sheet for their car, recognizable by the code Y4 which will be associated with the Pf ID number.
The minimum weight calculation method for each Category 1 car is the major change for 2023. This replaces the stepped scale of minimum weight using engine capacity only. The new system is based on the Pf engine factor value, Pfe, using a graduated weight scale. Two weight scales will be introduced, depending on the level of safety equipment used in the car. The lower minimum weight scale will require the safety cage (roll cage) to be homologated by the FIA, or certified by an ASN, to comply with the most recent FIA standards (FIA 8855-2021 or FIA 8862-2009) and the FIA fuel tank to be within the defined perimeter of the safety structure. The minimum weight value is shown on the website calculation and on each car’s unique Pf technical sheet. This is an additional output to the competitor’s declared minimum ‘racing weight’.
Pf simulations conducted online will remain free of charge; however, a fee of €85 (US$92.50) will now be charged for issuing the Pf technical sheets, payable on the website by credit card. This fee will be valid for the output of the first three technical sheets per driver during the year. Each additional technical sheet, beyond the first three for the same driver, can be obtained with payment of a 5€ (US$5.45) fee.
The Hill Climb discipline now has dedicated technical regulations, Article 258 in Appendix J to the International Sporting Code. Category 1 cars use Article 258-1 (applicable from January 1, 2023) while Article 258-2 is dedicated to Category 2 cars (applicable from January 1, 2024).
In 2023, in the European Championship and International Hill Climb Cup, Category 2 cars will have to comply with a technical appendix to the relevant Sporting Regulations, which details requirements for, among other things, rev limits for naturally aspirated engines, a 42.25mm restrictor for turbocharged engines, the use of an FIA-approved data acquisition system, a new minimum weight scale and a minimum ground clearance of 45mm.