Initial manufacturer feedback on the LMDh platform will help influence the format of the top class of the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship according to series boss Gerard Neveu.
While agreed upon last month in Daytona, officials from the ACO and IMSA are expected to present the technical regulations for the joint top-class formula next month at Sebring, which Neveu said remains the “first priority” for all involved.
However, the WEC faces uncertainty over the planned rollout of the Le Mans Hypercar class later this year, in the wake of Aston Martin’s postponement of its planned entry.
It has left Toyota as the only major OEM that’s slated to be on the grid for the season-opening race at Silverstone in September, with the status and/or confirmed timeframes for planned privateer LMH projects from Glickenhaus and ByKolles unclear at this point.
“We just learned a few days ago about the Aston Martin decision, which is the only one that impacts next [season] because Rebellion was already focused on the Peugeot program [for 2022],” Neveu said.
“We have opened a working session now with Pierre [Fillon, ACO president] and key people in the ACO and also with people from the FIA, because this is a FIA world championship.
“WEC will be here next [season] for sure and you will have the presentation of this [season] before we open the entry registration.
“The teams will have to exactly know what the format of the championship.”
Neveu declined to speculate what changes could be made to the top class, which may only need to be made for a single season prior to the rollout of LMDh in 2021-22 and the expectation of increased OEM involvement.
He said they will probably only work on “very small” modifications if necessary.
“Our first priority now is to deliver the convergence strategy at ‘Super Sebring’,” Neveu said.
“Depending if we are doing very well in the [time after] this announcement, it will give us an indication of how the championship will be in 2021 and it will help us take the right decision for the format of the 2020-21 championship.
“WEC will be here in 2020-21, no question, and probably we will work on very small modification and adaptation, depending on what the final configuration.
“You can understand this discussion will also involve ACO, FIA, Toyota and a few other people around the table.
“It’s too early to tell you something today because we are just entering in the discussion now.”
De Chaunac: LMP1 “Not an Option” for 2020-21 Season
ORECA president Hugues de Chaunac believes that a continuation of LMP1 machinery in the top class alongside the Toyota LMH car will not be feasible from a technical or commercial standpoint.
The French constructor holds the homologation of the Rebellion R13 Gibson, which theoretically would allow cars to be sold to customers but de Chaunac said there’s been no interest.
LMP1 non-hybrids will be permitted to compete in the LMH class as grandfathered prototypes for one season only.
“There is no wish from anybody to come to come with a grandfathered car,” de Chaunac told Sportscar365.
“Second, it would be very difficult [to balance] and it would only be one or two cars, so it would be very complicated.”
Ginetta had initially expressed interest in running its G60-LT-P1 AERs next season although its status is unclear amid the team’s withdrawal from last weekend round at Circuit of The Americas.