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ACO Planning June Release for New LMP1 Regulations

ACO planning to announce new LMP1 regulations in June; discussions with ACO continue…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

The FIA and ACO are expecting to reveal its new set of LMP1 regulations at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to ACO President Pierre Fillon.

Fillon, along with FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu, meanwhile, remain hopeful that the proposed “GTP”-style platform will also be adopted in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning in 2022.

Both Fillon and Neveu, along with technical representatives from the ACO and FIA are on-site at this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona for continued discussions with IMSA on a possible common prototype platform.

It would allow the same car to compete for overall wins in the WEC and WeatherTech Championship and iconic endurance races at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring.

“We try to do it because it makes sense that the ACO and IMSA walk on the same line together,” Neveu told Sportscar365.

“This is our hope and our wish is to make sure that we can find a way to join in the interests of the paddock because we are sharing the same clients, same competitors, same teams, same manufacturers.

“If we can find something respecting also the specificity of each paddock, this is good.

“This is why you will [meet] some technical guys from the ACO here this weekend, as you will cross some technical guys from IMSA in the events we are doing and all the meetings we are setting up in the season, technical meetings for this new regulations.”

The ACO’s proposed concept, involving production car stying cues, would provide more brand identity than currently seen in IMSA’s DPi platform, according to Neveu.

“That’s the idea,” he said. “And the key point is not really if it’s an LMP2 or an LMP1 chassis.

“The question is to make sure the budget will be a budget under the target we are looking for a manufacturers.

“That’s the reason why the participants around this table are manufacturers plus the FIA, the ACO and the IMSA technical delegates, working altogether to try and find the best way.”

Neveu said the topic of hybrids have so far been one biggest challenges, with a number of U.S.-based manufacturers not in favor of adopting the technology, at the risk of skyrocketing costs.

When asked if a compromise could be reached, in potentially allowing hybrids and non-hybrids to compete in the same class, Fillon said “we have some ideas.”

“This is probably one of the major differences of position between this part of the world and the rest of the world,” Neveu said. 

“We are looking and we are trying to find a solution. This is why we are working.”

Neveu said it hasn’t yet been determined if the current LMP1 regulations, confirmed for the next two seasons through 2020/21, will be extended for an additional season.

He indicated it would likely depend on the timeline for new manufacturers entering the category.

IMSA’s extension of its LMP2/DPi homologation period through the 2021 season would see the WeatherTech Championship not adopt new rules until 2022 at the earliest.

“We can start in the middle of 2021 and they can join in the [beginning] of 2022,” Neveu said. “For us it doesn’t change nothing.”

Fillon added: “It’s important because you need at least two years to launch a new project. We are discussing with the FIA, IMSA and so on, and we have discussed with the manufacturers.

“The target is to announce it in the press conference at Le Mans.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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