Beyond the current World Endurance Championship (WEC) season, the FIA and the ACO have announced a hypercar based series starting in 2020 which will provide a playing field for manufacturers to field their exotic creations.
Confirmed by the FIA and ACO as endurance racing’s top category, the document released ahead of this weekend’s Le Mans 24-Hour race is based on regulations published in December 2018.
They believe that “Hypercars mark a new era for the discipline based on three guiding principles: guaranteed competition, a controlled budget and spectacular sportscars.
The goal of the regs is “to create a top class with a level playing field and limited impact of the budget on the performance to encourage teams to run two cars in a full WEC season over a five-year campaign.”
“Performance will be less reliant on the amount invested. High budget expenditure will not imply performance advantage.”
The top tier cars, equivalent to today’s LMP1 class, and will be open for teams wanting to design and develop a prototype in the style of a hypercar or developing a racing version of a road going production supercar/hypercar with a minimum 20 production run over two years.
All manufacturers have cars that would be comfortable in such a series including the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda – manufacturers involved in F1 and of course the usual suspects of endurance racing: Porsche, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Ford etc.
The top tier cars (there will other classes for GT etc) will run to the following specs:
Powertrain average output 550 kw (750 hp);
Average lap time of around three and a half minutes around Le Mans in normal conditions;
Single tyre supplier;
Furthermore, the energy restitution threshold for the front wheels with the hybrid system has been defined to contain advantages of a front-wheel hybrid system (four-wheel-drive) and that ensure that two-wheel drive cars can compete.
With regards to the homologation of the cars, “the chassis based on original cars will be subject to similar safety criteria as the prototypes, specifications and safety criteria remain unchanged compared to the current LMP1 class. Homologation is valid for five years.”
Big Question: Is hypercars the best way to go for WEC?