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Hypercar Class to Have Single Tire Manufacturer

New top-level prototypes will run a single make of tire in the FIA World Endurance Championship…

Photo: Drew Gibson/Ford

The ‘hypercar’ prototype class that will replace the existing LMP1 category in 2020 will feature a single tire manufacturer.

As is currently the case, three specifications of slick tires will be available to teams throughout a season, along with two types of wet-weather tires.

The move, which was part of Wednesday’s technical regulations reveal, falls under the FIA and ACO’s aim of reducing operating costs for a top-level prototype program in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

A two-car team can expect to spend no more than €20 million ($22.7 million) per WEC season, which is slightly less than the €25-30 million budget projected in the initial ‘hypercar’ reveal earlier this year.

Multiple tire manufacturers are permitted under the current LMP1 regulations, although Michelin has held a monopoly in the class since the start of 2017.

ACO President Pierre Fillon told Sportscar365 that “all manufacturers” requested a single supplier for the new rulebook, which comes into effect at the start of the 2020-21 WEC season.

However, when asked if the ACO has plans to roll out the regulation in other WEC categories, Fillon said: “not at this moment.”

Other cost-cutting measures in the recently-approved 2020 technical regulations include stricter rules surrounding the materials that engines are built from, and a restricted aerodynamic development window.

Sporting regulations for the as-yet-unnamed formula have yet to be released, but testing allowances will be “significantly decreased” to reduce teams’ spending, according to an ACO report.

This will include teams only having access to their cars during events when the championship is outside of Europe.

Last month, Toyota air-freighted its cars and equipment back to its base in Germany to conduct winter testing during the break between the Six Hours of Shanghai and the 1,000-mile race at Sebring in March.

The allowance of EVO kits to enable car development through the five-year homologation period is another projected cost-saving measure, with changes permitted “within a restricted and regulated framework.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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