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‘Hypercar’ Update From FIA/ACO & WEC

News on interest, timing, performance levels and... DPi

After significant additions to the scope of the planned 2020 ‘Hypercar’ regulations, proposed to replace the current LMP1 ruleset from the 2020/21 FIA WEC season, were revealed at last week’s FIA World Motorsport Council, a briefing at Sebring today saw the first opportunity for media to hear from some of the senior figures involved in the negotiations with manufacturers, and with preparation of the final regulations.

Here are a few of the major points of that discussion:

Race versions of roadgoing hypercars to be incorporated into the regulations:

A move prompted by pressure from a group of three manufacturers, confirmed by the WEC as McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Full Balance of Performance process to be developed:

“Balance of performance has worked very well with a variety of platforms in GTE, it is a complex matter here but we believe it is deliverable” ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.

There was a clear acknowledgement that the challenges of balancing such disparate packages require Balance of Performance and NOT Equivalence of Technology.

Existing ‘Hypercar’ proposals to continue as part of the ruleset:

The aero-efficiency controlled silhouette formula initially proposed will continue to form one basis of the new rules

Hybrids with rear axle delivery and non-hybrid powertrains to be incorporated in new regulations:

Confirmation that a variety of powertrain configurations will be incorporated into the regulations in order to accommodate as many potential entrants as possible.

Possible incorporation of Gen2 DPIs into a new formula:

WEC CEO Gerard Neveu says that if the Hypercar regs and second-gen DPi regs produce cars with similar lap times, they’d be open to having 2022 DPi’s compete in WEC/LM24 under BoP with 2020 Hypercars.

3:30 race pace at Le Mans targeted

A further dialling down of the targeted race pace to accommodate the road car based cars would be necessary, up from the initially proposed 3:24/25 – to c.3:30.

That would require subsequent performance adjustments to the current LMP2 cars to maintain a class distinction.

Existing LMP1 Privateers to be grandfathered into 2020/21

Confirmation that existing LMP1 non-hybrids would be grandfathered into the first season of the new regulations with appropriate BoP applied

New Regulations expected “in the coming weeks”

Vincent Beaumesnil confirms that the ACO and FIA have set a challenging target for rapid delivery of the regulations, eagerly/ impatiently awaited by multiple interested parties. Guidance from ACO President Pierre Fillon was “in the next (very) few weeks.”

Organisers “hopeful” of manufacturer announcements (plural) 

WEC sources suggested strongly that announcements were to be expected soon from manufacturers for 2020/21.