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2020 LMP Technical Regulations Published

Success ballast also agreed for GTE Am from next year

The FIA has released the 2020 technical regulations for top-class LMP cars, which will be utilised by the FIA World Endurance Championship (including the Le Mans 24 Hours) until 2025.

The set of regulations are now approved and public following today’s FIA World Motor Sports Council meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Also agreed was the full 2019/20 FIA WEC calendar, with no changes made, and a few changes to the sporting regulations.

This included success ballast for GTE Am in the WEC. This was announced for the ELMS earlier this week too, an ELMS spokesperson explaining to DSC that success ballast has been introduced for GTE after a discussion with the teams at the end of the 2018 ELMS season.

Success ballast in the FIA WEC will be imposed for all races aside from the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Changes to pit stop regulations have also been made, from 2019/20 it will no longer be possible to carry out tyre changes at the same time as refuelling. This will be the same in the ELMS too.

On the ‘Hypercar’ regulations front, here’s a selection of key points from the document, some of which were detailed previously, that are now official:

– On the definition of “automobile make”:“When the car manufacturer fits an engine which it does not manufacture, the name of the engine manufacturer shall be associated with that of the car manufacturer. The name of the car manufacturer must always precede that of the engine manufacturer.” (Article 1.10)

– On regulation amendments: “These Technical Regulations apply to the Championship taking place and referred to in the title (“the Championship”) and may only be changed after 1st January of the year with the unanimous agreement of all competitors, save for changes made by the FIA/ACO for safety reasons which may come into effect without notice or delay.” (Article 2.2)I

– The maximum dimensions have been confirmed: 1150mm height, 2000mm width, 5000mm length and 3150mm wheelbase. (Article 3.1)

– Only one bodywork may be homologated for each car. (Article 3.4.1)

– Moveable aerodynamic devices (front and rear) are permitted, with two positions, changed by driver input. (Article 3.6)

– The cars minimum weight will be 1040kg (Article 4.1)

– Each car must be engineered to accept 50+ kg of ballast. The WEC will utilise success ballast going forward (0.5kg of weight per point scored) for each round until the Le Mans 24 Hours at the end of a season. (Article 4.3)

– On the origins of each engine: “The engine of the make must be based on an original engine.

“An engine may be used as an original engine on the following conditions:

“At least 25 identical engines, identical to the ones destined for the series production car homologated for road use equipped with this engine must have been produced;

“One complete engine is desposited with the FIA/ACO.

“At least 25 identical series production car homologated for road use equipped with this engine is produced by the end of the year of the first season this engine is competing in.

“At least 100 identical series production car homologated for road use equipped with this engine are produced by the end of the year of the second season this engine is competing in.

“The original engine is homologated with FIA/ACO.” (Article 5.3.2)

– On the engines permitted: “The engine is free.

“Only Petrol 4 stroke engines with reciprocating pistons are permitted. (Maximum 520kW)

“Engine cubic capacity is free.

“Engine must not have more than two inlets and two exhaust valves per cylinder.

“Only reciprocating poppet valves with axial displacement are permitted.

“The sealing interface between the moving valve component and the stationary engine component must be circular.

“Electromagnetic and hydraulic valve actuation systems are forbidden.

“Variable geometry devices are not allowed except for the engine of the make for parts that remain exactly as homologated for the original engine.” (Article 5.4.1)

– The MGU-K must meet the following conditions to be used: “At least 25 identical MGU-Ks identical to the ones destined for the series production car homologated for road use equipped with this MGU-K must have been produced;

“One complete MGU-K is desposited with the FIA/ACO.

“At least 25 identical series production car homologated for road use equipped with this exact same MGU-K are produced by the end of the year of the first season this engine is competing in.

“At least 100 identical series production car homologated for road use equipped with this exact same MGU-K are produced by the end of the year of the second season this exact same MGU-K is competing in.

“The original MGU-K is homologated with FIA/ACO.” (Article 5.6.2)

– The MGU-K must also be “solely and permanently mechanically linked to a mechanical differential linked to the front wheels of the car.” (Article 5.7)

– The cars’ engine transmission system will only drive the rear wheels.(Article 9.1)

– Four wheel steering is forbidden (Article 10.4.4)

– The complete wheel dimensions are as follows: a maximum width and diameter of 14 and 28 inches respectively. (Article 12.3)

– The WEC will supply only one type of fuel for all cars in the class, though the use of another fuel is subject to an agreement from the Endurance Committee. (There will be a single tyre supplier too) (Article 17.1 & 17.2.2)

– Each manufacturer can only homologate a maximum of two cars during the five seasons which these regulations cover (2020-25), with homologations valid until June 2025. However, modifications to a car’s homologation may be permitted for safety, reliability,cost-saving, serviceability or performance reasons at the discretion of the FIA/ACO. (Article 20.1.1)

– No more than five EVO jokers are allowed from 2020-25 per manufacturer, regardless of homologations. (Article 20.1.3)

– Each ERS systems (Front-wheel energy recovery and release system up to 200kW) must be available for a maximum price of three million euros for customers. And, each manufacturer can’t supply  (directly or indirectly) an ERS system for more than three competitors (with two cars each) without the consent of the FIA/ACO. (Article 20.5.1 & 20.5.2)

“The 2020 LMP1 class will remain a category for ultra-high-performance prototypes bidding to win a major world championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.

“The current spirit of great marques battling it out on the track will still be there but they will be working to much smaller budgets and facing opponents from the private sphere stealing the limelight. The regulations should encourage manufacturers to produce cars that resemble road vehicles.

“Body shape will not be dictated by aerodynamics (which will be strictly regulated) but by the marque’s distinctive design features. Manufacturers may nonetheless extrapolate a street-legal version of their racing car if they wish.

“The prototypes will, therefore, be a lot closer to the hypercars seen out of the road.”

An explainer on full FIA WEC 2020 Hypercar regulations can be found HERE. It includes a summary of the regulations, videos and a Q&A with Vincent Beaumesnil.

The full regulations meanwhile, can be found HERE >>>

For further detail, you can find DSC’s previous pieces on the Hypercar regulations below:

30 Questions On The 2020 ‘Hypercar’ Regulations Answered >>>

2020 ‘Hypercar’ Regulations Step Up A Gear >>>