FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu believes there could be up to six Hypercar entries for the launch season in 2020-21, dismissing concerns over car count in the top class.
Set to debut in ten month’s time at Silverstone, projects from Toyota, with its GR Super Sport-based prototype and Aston Martin with its road-going Valkyries, are in the works, along with expected entries from Glickenhaus and ByKolles.
The potential exists for current-generation LMP1 non-hybrids, such as the Ginetta G60 LT-P1 AER and Rebellion R13, to be grandfathered on to the grid for next season, which would add further entries in the top class.
Neveu noted that last weekend’s 4 Hours of Shanghai featured five LMP1 entries out of the 31-car total grid.
“It’s more [top-class] than this year,” he said. “Do we have a problem with the grid this year? Do we need to have [current-generation] DPis on the grid this year for some events?
“We need more cars but we can’t run more than 34 cars in WEC. We have to be realistic.
“In three years if we have 12-14 cars in the top category, you will have less GTE-Am for sure. That’s part of the story. We know that and that’s one of the advantages of having four different categories.”
Neveu has also dismissed concern over Aston Martin’s Hypercar program, which has gone radio silent since its announcement at Le Mans in June.
Additional information was due to be communicated in the summer months by the British manufacturer, with Aston still not commenting on the program, which is understood to be be facing delays due to potential financial issues.
Toyota’s Pascal Vasselon has shared Neveu’s outlook for the 2020-21 season.
“At the moment we are hoping for four [teams] to be there, Aston and us, also ByKolles and Glickenhaus,” he said. “These are the four that are working to be present.
“Long-term anything can happen, several manufacturers are looking at it and planning to come in Year Two.”
The comments from both Neveu and Vasselon came prior to Peugeot’s announcement on Wednesday, confirming a hypercar program that will debut in 2022.
Dialogue Continuing with IMSA on DPi 2022 Integration
Neveu said the ACO and IMSA are still working to have the “clear vision” of allowing Hypercars and IMSA’s next-generation DPi 2022 prototypes to race together with the same performance level.
“There is still a very good working process between IMSA and ACO regarding the idea to have a chance to compete one day with these top categories,” he said.
“It’s not the time to discuss. There’s too much discussion on the table right now so we have to let the people work.
“The interest from the organizers, IMSA and the ACO, is to show a clear vision as soon as possible. This is what they’re working on. I hope to find a solution.”
Sportscar365 understands one of the current holdups surrounds the design of Toyota’s Hypercar, which is set to employ a front-wheel driven hybrid system that would effectively make it an all-wheel drive prototype, compared to the rear-wheel drive DPis.