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Marquardt: “Clarity” Needed on Hypercar Regs

Jens Marquardt: clarity needed on Hypercar regs amid challenging deadlines…

Photo: BMW

BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt says more “clarity” is needed on the FIA and ACO’s ‘Hypercar’ regulations amid tight deadlines for manufacturers looking to commit to the new top-level prototype platform.

The German manufacturer has recently joined technical working group meetings to help shape the regulations that are set to debut in the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship season, alongside several others including Toyota, Aston Martin, McLaren and Ferrari.

Marquardt, however, has downplayed the prospects of BMW being ready for the launch season, should it decide to green-light a program, owing to questions in the exact shape of the regulations.

“We’ve been listening in to the discussions,” he said. “To be honest with you, there now needs to be clarity on what is happening.

“I think 2020 is probably, from a timing point of view, already out of the door. It depends really on what the outcome is.

“It’s something that has to be affordable and has to be relevant. We’ll have to see.”

Both Toyota and Aston Martin have also spoken out in recent weeks on the “challenging” deadlines, with the draft set of regulations needing to be presented to the World Motor Sport Council for approval in early December.

It would then leave manufacturers less than two years to design and build new cars, once gaining board approval for such a project.

“My main concern is that it would all need to happen fairly quickly given that they want cars on the grid in September 2020,” Aston Martin Racing president David King told Sportscar365 in August.

“That’s almost stretching the boundaries of what’s achievable, assuming you don’t already have a budget approved and a team ready to start designing the race car.”

Marquardt said he sees no rush in committing to a Hypercar program, with BMW only in the first year of its new M8 GTE factory effort in both the WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“Honestly speaking, in that respect, I don’t have a problem at all because we have a GTE. We have our program and our plans for next year,” he said.

“We’re going in the ‘Super Season’ until the second Le Mans, and in IMSA as well. We are set.

“For us, there is no need or pressure on finding something different. We are happy with the programs we have.

“We are always looking at what’s happening in the future, that’s how we got involved in Formula E from the get-go when no manufacturer looked at it.

“There is a lot going on in the automotive world. We just need to have clarity on what is it, and then see what we can do. Is there a story that we can tell?

“Is there a technology that is relevant? Because at the end of the day that’s what we’re doing.”

BMW has also been among the manufacturers involved with the ACO on its new hydrogen initiatives, with a dedicated class targeted for the 2024 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

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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