ORECA and Ligier Automotive are hopeful for stability in the next-generation LMP2 regulations, which is due in 2021.
Introduced in 2017, the current cost-capped formula has proven to be a success worldwide, with 18 cars set to take part in this year’s European Le Mans Series season and more than 20 entries expected for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With the current-gen regs set to be introduced into the Asian Le Mans Series next season, the category’s two leading constructors have cautioned that any major changes to the regs could come as a detriment to the Pro-Am-based platform.
Discussions on the next set of regulations, which are due to debut in the 2021/22 FIA World Endurance Championship season, are yet to take place, as the formation of the FIA and ACO’s top class ‘Hypercar’ regs have taken priority.
“We have to listen to the teams, because in the end that’s who we are working for,” Ligier Automotive’s Pierre Nicolet told Sportscar365.
“I think the teams’ feedback will drive the evolution of what LMP2 should be.
“As a [constructor], we have the resources to do whatever the regulations become.
“Obviously there has been a lot of investment made by the four [constructors] in 2016 and 2017 for those who have made a joker. So hopefully it can be extended another time.
“I think the teams want stability to make a business out of LMP2. So I think when it comes to safety updates and so on, we will have to work on it together to define what’s the best.”
ORECA technical director David Floury agrees with Nicolet, in urging for continued stability in the class, given the current level of investment from teams globally.
More than 30 Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 cars have been sold, either as all-new cars or upgrade kits from its previous-gen Oreca 05 model.
“One of the main targets on LMP2 is to control the costs,” Floury told Sportscar365.
“In this respect, I think it will make sense to evolve the current product, define what the targets are and what we want to achieve together.
“LMP2 is a category for private teams and it has to be sustainable. Clearly, pushing teams to buy new cars would not necessarily make sense.”
While yet to comment on the future direction of LMP2, the ACO recently confirmed a minor evolution to LMP3 for 2020 that will see moderate performance, safety and optional aero updates, but no changes to the chassis.
LMP2 Performance Level Dependent on Hypercar Class
The performance level of the next-gen LMP2 cars will be dependent on the eventual placement of the Hypercar class, which looks set to be slower than current LMP1 cars.
The FIA and ACO have proposed for 3:27 lap times for the yet-to-be-named class at Le Mans, which is within the performance window of current LMP2 machinery.
While stating there “must be” a gap between the two classes, Nicolet has urged not to jump to conclusions until seeing the full performance of Hypercar, which is set to debut in 2020-21.
“[The] target time for LMP1 is something, but then actual time on track will be something else,” he said.
“The good thing is there will be LMP1 cars prior to the new regulation of LMP2, so we shall see.
“We are very dependent on how fast the Hypercar is. But I think we have a strong and reliable model here.”