Fillon: 2020 LMP1 Direction to Be Revealed at Le Mans

Photo: Toyota

Photo: Toyota

Further details on the 2020 LMP1 regulations, and news on LMP1 non-hybrid, are expected to be revealed at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to ACO President Pierre Fillon.

Fillon confirmed that a roadmap for the top prototype ranks, including the non-hybrid category, will be presented during the ACO’s annual press conference, which will now take place on Friday of race week, instead of the traditional Thursday.

“We’ll have some news about LMP1 non-hybrid and [2020] hybrid rules at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Fillon told Sportscar365.

“We are working. The only thing that we can say right now is that there’s an open discussion. Everyone is in very good spirits.”

While talks have continued between current LMP1 manufacturers Porsche and Toyota, as well as Peugeot, which could rejoin the top class in 2020, Fillon said the main focus has been on cost reduction.

Peugeot is understood to be working on a comeback, but only if costs are significantly slashed from the current budgets, which are understood to be in excess of $100 million annually.

Fillon said they have a target cost reduction in mind but are not ready to reveal details.

“We need to reduce the costs, to maintain the performance… and to keep the a certain level of technology,” he said.

The ACO President said he doesn’t envision a reduction in hybrid technology in 2020, but also not necessarily an increase, as has been on the table for next year, with the planned introduction of a third hybrid system and 10MJ hybrid subclass.

Those plans were scrapped late last year in favor of freezing the current LMP1 regulations through the 2019 season.

“We’ve proven that you don’t need to have three or four [hybrid] systems,” Fillon said. “You can have one or two.

“Two hybrid systems is not double the costs of one hybrid system.”

Both Fillon and FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu, meanwhile, said it would be “impossible” to see a dedicated DPi class within the championship or at Le Mans in the near future.

However, Fillon said that details on a potential engine-related evolution in LMP1 non-hybrid could also be revealed at Le Mans in June.

When asked if LMP1 non-hybrid regulations could be opened up to more easily accept DPis, Fillon said, “you’ll have to wait for the press conference.”

Neveu, meanwhile, said that a number of elements are currently under discussion.

“We have to be careful that we provide the fairest regulation categories and respect the identity of each category,” he told Sportscar365.

“For LMP1, we have to find the perfect identity for the future.”

21 Comments

  1. Bakkster

    April 15, 2017 at 7:35 am

    LOL WEC is finished

    • Nevil Clavain

      April 15, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Yeah I agree! I have Autism btw

      • CookieMonsterFL

        April 15, 2017 at 10:42 am

        bawhaha a welcome sight to see you here too, Nevil! There are a few crazy sensationalists in here…

        • Bakkster

          April 16, 2017 at 6:57 am

          STFU you /r/WEC cuck!

    • DC

      April 15, 2017 at 8:09 am

      DPi is the way of the future. The way of the future. The way of the future…..

    • GR88

      April 15, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Why are comments on this site always so bizarre? Must be a throwback to ALMS vs GA confrontation.;-)

      It’s obvious what the ACO’s gameplan is. P1-H remains as is but with major cost reduction. Possible thanks to the heavy development work already being done on 8MJ hybrid technology. They could go to 10-12MJ, but it’s time to consolidate and reduce costs across the board.

      P1-L is gaining momentum and needs to be open to constructors like Ginneta and SMP/Dallara. Equally, a space will be opened for DPI’s, this is where the engine changes come in.

      Currently P1-L cars use fuel flow limiters, increasing costs and reducing performance. The new P1-NH (non-hybrid) class will do away with this. Power levels will increase to 750bhp+ and DPI units will be eligible (minus their restrictors).

      I do not expect a Cadillac with full bodywork/branding to turn up at Le Mans. But I do expect machines like the ESM Nissan, branded as an ESM Ligier-Nissan. It should be a relatively dimple process to develop a DPI into a higher performance P1-NH.

      • Andres

        April 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

        Wrong, the DPI actually have more power than the LMP1 H combustion engine alone, i say h¿this cause they have 1000HP only for 5 or 6 seconds, for the rest of the lap they have less than 550HP, and DPIs have around 600HP, which is the case of the Nissan DPI, that number in the Cadillac DPI is severely lower now because of the rounds of BOP slowing them, so technically if the DPI cars go to Lemans, they will be slowed, in Daytona qualy, the Cadilacs exceeded the 200 mph barrier and spec P2 cars could not manage to go that speeds

    • Mike D.

      April 18, 2017 at 4:55 am

      The desperation of some trolls on this site truly knows no bounds.
      Maybe one day someone will love you.

  2. Luna

    April 15, 2017 at 7:47 am

    The ACO is trying to bring back Peugeot. The only hope of survival for WEC.

  3. Max

    April 15, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Apparently DPis have a subtle flaw that causes them to spontaneously combust the moment they touch LeMans. That’s why it’s impossible for them to race there.

    … or it’s ego, arrogance, and the inability of the FIA/ACO to compromise.

    • Steven

      April 15, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Not really, DPi is just a lazy way for manufacturers to race in a Prototype category.

      This is suppose to be the premier class. Using a P2 spec chassis, adding a few bits of different bodywork and dumping a updated DP engine in it is not innovative at all.

      • NorthSask

        April 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

        I mean, LMP1, LMP2 and DPi are all built on essentially interchangeable tubs now. If DPi is “lazy” because it’s based on a P2 tub, P2 must be just as lazy since it’s just a P1 tub with cheaper bodywork and power train…

        • Andres

          April 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

          You must add with a cheap and crappy powertrain that blows when you run 50 laps flat out

    • GR88

      April 15, 2017 at 8:42 am

      DPI’s are P2’s with a bodywork kit.

      It’s not rocket science. It’s not suitable for the top Le Mans prototype class to share chassis and 80% of components.

      DPI’s will be at Le Mans in some form, but it will be P1-NH (non hybrid).

  4. Aces

    April 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I believe that should we see the 2018 lmp1 privateer programs actually happen, and should we see significant growth going forward, that will save the class. Not only just the subclass but the entire class in general. Because it’s the privateers that will keep the class alive should anything go south.

  5. SE30ASport

    April 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

    For sure DPi should not be on par with the P1-H constructors, because that’s kind of a slap in the face to the investments those manufacturers are making in the premier class. However, I don’t think P1-NH or P2 would be best either, because in both cases your entries there are privateer and/or pro-am lineups. Sending factory subsidized DPi entries into either of those really doesn’t seem to sit well, either. The ACO has made claims that making more then 4 classes would confuse the fans, while at the same time they have a P1 sub class. I wish they would just offer a DPi classification, even if only for Le Mans (since that’s probably all most US-based DPi teams would have interest in anyway) and call it a day. Although I think the ACO’s actions have been a clear indicator that they are concerned about manufacturers going the “lazy” way (as described earlier) and just invest in DPi rather than a full P1 program. My guess though is most P1 constructors see the value there; I think DPi opens more doors to manufacturers not previously interested than it does to scare off anyone from P1. I think Alpine is a good example; Renault is not going to allocate them a budget for a P1 program, but there they are in P2 with a rebadged car and well operated operation via Signatech. Alpine I think would consider DPi if it ran in Europe, but not having DPi as an option is not going to push them into P1, either.

    • GR88

      April 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      The obvious option for Alpine is P1-NH. They wouldn’t even have to deal with homologation rules, so could use own styling cues. They could use the Mechachrome engine, who have close links with Renault, the Nissan V6TT badged as an Alpine, or even the Renault F1 engine.

      In other words it is a DPI in without the US homologation requirements. They’d be eligible for P1-NH as they aren’t a major manufacturer.

    • Andres

      April 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Rebellion ran last few years with an updated P2 Oreca chassis with a more powerful engine in P1 privateer and the FIA/ACO did not say a word, but when they can discuss DPI, that are cars based on P2 chassis with a more powerful engine to have an entry at Lemans, so then they say no because they are basically P2 cars, so that must be said about Rebellion in the past years

      • TF110

        April 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm

        No, there’s a difference. A dpi is a (faux) manufacturer car. The Cadillac for example is badged as such. Rebellion is not a manufacturer but a racing outfit. The ACO don’t want Manufacturer’s to run lmp1-non hybrid. It’s bad enough that the p1 hybrids beat the private teams as bad as they do, it’d be even worse if they were in the non-hybrid lmp1 ruleset. What I think they should do is open up the rules for a non-hybrid factory class that runs a lower weight and more engine power that’s about equal to the hybrid cars.

  6. CJ

    April 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Seeing as we’re debating DPi again…
    While I’m merrily watching the ELMS opener from Silverstone; can someone tell me what the difference between the Dallara P217 and the Cadillac DPi is? I mean other than the wheels and outrageously sized engine, they are visually identical.
    Before anyone leaps on me; I am not a DPi hater, I think that IMSA has got a good formula for keeping manufacturers interested. Cost capped chassis with a GT3 engine thrown in the back and compete! Great idea until GM went through their warehouse and found the biggest lump they could get away with installing…. back to my point: I thought that there had to be visual “styling cues” on manufacturer back cars? Go to the ELMS stream on YouTube and tell me what the difference is please?

    Oh, and DPi shouldn’t be allowed at Le Mans. The FIA/ACO dictatorship need to get their backsides into gear and make P1 attractive and competitive again and that means allowing privateer entries to be competitive with factory entries. There are ways to make it happen.

    • el_gordo

      April 15, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      GM has just developed the Cadillac bodywork and engine etc more than the other cars, they are/will catch up, and soon the 6.2 won’t be that much of an advantage, the same way smaller displacement turbo cars are often faster in GT3,GTLM than the larger displacement NA Audi, Corvette, AMG

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