BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt is actively pushing for hybridised Class One cars to serve as the base for a new global prototype solution, DSC has learned.
Class One, the formula used by both DTM in Germany and the GT500 class of Super GT which was signed off last year, see aggressive, road-car-silhouette, but full race chassis based cars, housing two-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engines that produce in excess of 620 horsepower compete.
Currently, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Aston Martin (R-Motorsport) and Nissan are all set to race cars running to those regulations in 2019, with joint DTM and Super GT races planned for later this year. There are moves afoot for the Class One Formula to adopt a hybridised powertrain, potentially incorporating a ‘spec’ hybrid system.
This news comes amid speculation of BMW’s future as a factory entrant in GTE in the FIA WEC, though the IMSA GTLM programme seems to be under rather less immediate question.
It’s also at a time when the FIA WEC’s 2020 ‘Hypercar’ regulations, which will replace LMP1, are in a state of flux, with the regulations not finalised and no manufacturers yet publicly signed up for the new formula that is due to debut at the start of the 2020/21 WEC season (around 500 days away).
BMW has stated to DSC recently that it has no intention of joining the proposed ‘Hypercar’ formula, as the manufacturer does not have an appropriate and relevant base model to field.
However, Marquardt is now pointing towards a push for IMSA to adopt Class One as the basis for the next generation of DPi, due for the 2022 season, and for the FIA WEC and ACO to accept that as part of a global prototype solution.
A global solution was discussed between the FIA/ACO and IMSA in the early days of the Hypercar regulations, but the two organising bodies were unable to come to an agreement to share the same philosophy for the WeatherTech Championship and WEC. Both performance parameters and budgets were major sticking points between the two sanctioning bodies. With the move recently to incorporate race versions of road-going hypercars within the new regulations the predicted performance of the new cars brings them very close indeed to potential DPi II numbers.