UPDATE: Further clarity on the decisions from the latest World Motor Sport Council meeting last night has been provided this morning.
The ACO has issued a news release which features a key additional phrase regarding the new Le Mans Hypercar rules which state that competitors “must enter a homologated car under the name of an automotive brand”, which is that entries will be “subject to approval by the Endurance Committee”.
This means that entries can and will be decided on a case-by-case basis, leaving the door open for teams such as ByKolles to enter if it can meet the criteria. In the section of regulations that covers this subject, seen by DSC, ByKolles (for instance) could be covered by the following: “The Endurance Commission will rule in the last resort, at its entire discretion, on the admissibility of a car brand and car name to the Championship.”
The planned Glickenhaus entry looks set to meet criteria potentially in two ways, the Glickenhaus company is a registered road car manufacturer in their home market, and there is a potential tie-in with a mainstream engine supplier (believed to be Alfa Romeo).
The criteria to define an “automotive brand” though, is not yet known publicly, but it seems highly likely to encompass arrangements with mainstream manufacturers entering into engine supply deals with Hypercar teams.
The phrase used around homologation of the cars is standard for any current LMP or GT race car and does not imply an insistence on a roadgoing version of the car.
In addition, an FIA WEC spokesperson has told DSC that the name of the class is now officially Le Mans Hypercar.
The spokesperson also noted that a correction will be made to the name of the FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Champion (Hypercar) title that was named by the FIA last night. This title will not necessarily be awarded to manufacturers since customer cars are likely to be available; it will, therefore, be a teams’ title. This is important as it initially added to the confusion surrounding the new regulations, and whether or not this was another sign that private competitors would be forced out.
Elsewhere, the news release also details changes to LMP2, that there will (as expected) be a single tyre supplier and that engine power will be reduced by 30kW (c.40 hp) to ensure that the Le Mans Hypercar class cars will have a performance advantage. It is not yet known which tyre brand will be selected for the LMP2 tender.
Mere hours after privateer team Rebellion Racing announced that it has partnered with Peugeot for its 2022 Hypercar programme, the World Motor Sport Council has decided that competitors “must enter a homologated car under the name of an automotive brand” in the forthcoming Hypercar category.
This decision was made during the fourth and final meeting of the World Motor Sport Council this year, in Paris, during the 2019 Annual General Assembly. There, the meeting was hosted by FIA President Jean Todt and FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker.
As a result, the status of both ByKolles’ and Glickenhaus’ planned Hypercar programmes are now unclear.
It is not yet known whether Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which is an American boutique car manufacturer, is eligible to enter its own car under these new rules. Notably, the renders of the non-hybrid car it plans to enter (from September) appeared to feature nods to Alfa Romeo, though the engine supplier has not been named.
ByKolles meanwhile, is not currently linked to a manufacturer publicly.
In addition to the mandate which prohibits the use of private chassis in the Hypercar class, a personnel limitation has also been introduced. A maximum of 40 operational staff is permitted, or 43 for Competitors entering a car homologated with an ERS.
The nomenclature of World Championship titles from next season has been agreed too. The four are as follows:
FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion (Hypercar)
FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Champion (Hypercar)
FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion (LMGTE)
FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Champion (LMGTE)