The agreement between the ACO and the FIA to organise the World Endurance Championship has been extended until the end of the 2020 season – which will also be the first year of the next generation of LMP1 regulations.
FIA President Jean Todt and ACO President Pierre Fillon signed the paperwork in front of the media on Sunday morning at Silverstone, with FIA Endurance Commission President Lindsay Owen-Jones also in attendance.
“It’s only rational to move forward and try to make things better,” Todt commented. “As regards the loss of Audi, that’s motorsport history – people come, they stay, the leave. It’s up to us as the governing body and the ACO as the organisers to make a show that encourages both manufacturers and privateers to enter. The most important thing is to be vigilant about the evolution of the technical regulations and costs.”
Elsewhere, Fillon confirmed that an announcement would be made regarding the 2020 LMP1 regulations on the Friday before the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. “We want to attract other manufacturers – not just Peugeot which has been spoken about,” he said. “We’re working on the rules now with the target of retaining the technology and performance level but reducing costs.”
Owen Jones confirmed that discussions were underway to tweak the format of race weekends, possibly as early as next season, in order to give greater visibility to the GTE class, which this year attains full world championship status and sees the return of Porsche as a full works effort, before BMW joins in 2018.
DSC understands that one proposal being given serious consideration is a standalone sprint race to set the GTE grid, taking place before the main six-hour race for both classes.