FIA President Jean Todt says he believes the Hypercar regulations could be a “game-changer” based on the level of potential manufacturer involvement.
Confirmed last weekend, the new top-class rules will permit both prototype and road-going hypercars, with Toyota and Aston Martin already confirming programs for the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Speaking to a selected group of media during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Todt expressed his optimism for the platform, indicating the potential of the yet-to-be-named class to replicate the success of the Group B rally era from the 1980s.
“I think what was announced and adopted by the World Motor Sport Council could be a game-changer for [the] endurance championship,” said Todt.
“I’m very excited when I could figure out the starting grid we could have with dream cars in endurance racing.
“I think it will be the equivalent of [Group B] in endurance racing.
“Simply because we already have two [manufacturers] that have committed, Aston Martin, not with a GT car but a Hypercar, and Toyota.”
Todt mentioned a number of manufacturers that are currently developing production hypercars, with several understood to also be in discussions with the FIA and ACO for potential race programs.
A group of six OEMs, including McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari, are known to have been in the initial technical working group meetings last year, while Sportscar365 understands that Lamborghini had discussions at some point in recent weeks as well.
“I let you guess what Ferrari is already building, what McLaren is building already, what Porsche is building, what Lamborghini could potentially build, Mercedes are preparing as a hypercar or dream car, you call it whatever you want,” Todt said.
“If you figure out eight or ten of those cars, plus some private manufacturers that have already demonstrated their interest in the championship, it would be the most amazing grid you can ever think [of].”
ACO President Pierre Fillon, meanwhile, indicated that it will be “important” to have more than three manufacturers committed to the platform, although it’s unlikely to be met for the launch season.
Mille: FIA, ACO Wanted to Create “Sexy” Regulations
The attractiveness of the regulations, particularly from a visual and costs point of view, will make Hypercar a strong business model for manufacturers, according to FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille.
Mille admitted several manufacturers were “reluctant” in the beginning due to several uncertainties, which he believes has now been rectified due to a “very realistic and workable” budgets.
“I know everyone says it’s been taking a long time to establish the regulations but it’s because we didn’t want to miss any points” he said.
“We wanted to discuss deeply with the constructors, hand-in-hand, to really develop the best regulations.
“When you have to go for five years, you better have a sustainable regulation that can work. Today when you have to invest, you don’t want to invest for one or two years.
“This is why in the beginning many brands were a bit reluctant.”
The FIA has not yet disclosed any possible readjustment in the budget targets since its last readjusted figure of €20-25 million ($22-28 million) in December.
“Today, [manufacturers] are more and more interested because the budgets are affordable, you can win Le Mans and be world champion with a reasonable budget,” Mille said.
“On top of that, you make business. When we say you will manufacturer 20 cars, they will sell the cars. At the same time it becomes a business model.
“We wanted to do a sexy regulation that will attract the constructors.”
Additionally, Mille indicated that manufacturers will be permitted to roll out with a new car within the five-year homologation cycle in order to showcase changes in branding or improved performance.