The FIA’s revised top-class rules, which could see production-based hypercars compete alongside prototype-based machinery, is a “really positive move” according to Aston Martin Racing President David King.
Announced last week, plans are being put into place to incorporate GT-styled hypercar machinery in the previously announced set of 2020-21 World Endurance Championship regulations, which looks set to continue with prototype-based hypercars as well.
While details on the proposed platform, or how they will be balanced, have yet to be disclosed, King has praised the FIA and ACO’s latest move to ensure a balanced grid of machinery.
“I see it as a really positive move,” King told Sportscar365.
“The devils are in the details, so turning that intention, which I think we support strongly, into a set of regulations, where you can truly balance road-based hypercars with prototypes, will be a challenge.”
Sportscar365 understands Aston Martin was behind the coalition of manufacturers pushing for production-based hypercars, with a decision taken at a recent technical working group meeting prior to submission to the World Motor Sport Council last week.
Of note, Toyota was not present at that meeting, with the Japanese manufacturer reportedly not having been invited.
“What I’ve said before is that we’re positively committed to working with the organizers to find something that works there,” King said.
“It would be great for the sport to see multiple big brands competing in the top class of Le Mans.
“There’s also some rumors around. But we’re strongly placed. We showed three hypercars at our motorsport stand in Geneva two weeks ago.
“We also have a great GTE car and we know how to build a prototype with our partners.
“We’ve got all bases covered, should the opportunity arise. There’s been talks and evaluations going on in our company, as they are, but we’re not in a position to announce anything yet.”
King said he wouldn’t give any sort of timeframe should Aston Martin commit, having previously admitted an entry for the 2020-21 launch season would be a tall order under the original set of regs.
“The schedule is unclear because we don’t know how the regs will turn out,” he said.
“September 2020 is just over a year away and if you don’t have a car getting ready to race, it would be a big challenge.”
While clearly being in favor of the newly introduced concept, King said he believes there is “scope” for both production-based and purpose-built machinery in the top class.
However, he has cautioned its viability, particularly in achieving parity in performance.
“You’ve got a wide range of cars to balance there and BoP, in a fairly narrow field in GTE, is working remarkably well as a whole,” King said.
“When you spread it to the potential range of cars we get with hypercars and prototypes, there’s a lot more factors at play and it could be a technical challenge.”
The WEC has yet to get a firm commitment for top class involvement from any major manufacturer for the 2020-21 season, other than intentions by Glickenhaus and ByKolles to build hypercars.