A busy day at Le Mans saw the promised release of final details of the technical regulations for the LMDh prototypes, set to form the core of the future top class for IMSA, and to sit alongside the 2021 LMH cars as a combined top class in the FIA WEC.
That combined class is set to be branded as ‘Hypercar’ in the FIA World Endurance Championship though that is a name unlikely to be adopted by IMSA who are still awaiting the results of ongoing work on BoP between the two new types of car, and the emergence of real cars, before making any determination on whether they will go ahead with LMDh only, or welcome LMH as part of a combined future class.
The new LMDh cars will be based on chassis manufactured by any of four approved constructors (Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca), the same chassis designed to for the next generation of LMP2 cars, set to follow on at a later point from the introduction of their top class counterparts. Each car will feature a manufacturer defined internal combustion engine producing a minimum peak of 470 kw at the wheels.
In addition, each car, from whatever manufacturer, will feature identical ‘spec’ hybrid systems pushing a maximum of 50kw of power continuously through the rear axle, the battery set allowing c.200 kW of regeneration capacity.
A key part of today’s announcement was the confirmation of the technical partners for both the ‘spec’ hybrid system (a collaboration between Bosch and Williams Advanced Engineering – motor by Bosch, battery systems by Wiliams, with the spec gearbox fro XTrac).
The cars would weigh in at a minimum of 1030 kg with aero palace capped at 4:1 downforce: drag
Dimensions would see the LMDh cars at a maximum 5100 mms in length, 2000 mm wide, and a wheelbase of 3150 mm.
A key change from both the current LMP1 and DPi cars is more freedom to style the bodywork of the cars for manufacturer relevance and brand recognition.
No changes though are permitted to the floor or underfloor.
Estimated budgets are key to the new formula with a 1 million Euro estimate for a full car without engine – the car’s ‘spec’ spine costed at around 345k Euro, the ‘spec’ hybrid system at under 300k Euro.
ACO/ LMEM and IMSA are still leaving open a possible 2022 introduction (though both were clear that this is unlikely to be at the start of 2022) .
A variety of images of either generic, or in the case of some images rather more manufacturer-specific LMDh concepts have been seen today in the ACO presentation, and in video form. Andy Blackmore’s highly talented penmanship seems to have been evolved with some or all of the above!