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Updated Le Mans Hypercar Technical Regs Released

Latest technical regs published for the WEC’s Le Mans Hypercar category…

Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

The FIA World Endurance Championship has further defined its Le Mans Hypercar formula by releasing an updated set of technical regulations for the class.

The latest technical regs were approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council on Dec. 4. but only released today, eight months before the projected first race of the category’s debut season.

Various amendments have been confirmed in the new version of the rulebook.

The Le Mans Hypercar technical document charts the production specifications for both prototype-based and prototype-styled machinery, while another set of documents outlines the rules for grandfathered hybrid and non-hybrid LMP1 cars.

Rotary engines will be allowed in the new category, which is to replace LMP1 as the top class of the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the 2020-21 season.

Some of the highlights of series organizer the ACO’s June press conference, which announced new elements of Le Mans Hypercar, have been confirmed in the regs.

These include the use of bespoke engines, the optional use of hybrid systems and a Balance of Performance system that can add up to 50 kg onto the original weight of cars.

New elements not covered in the ACO’s summer announcement include the acceptance of rotary engines, the freeing up of diffuser construction and a clarification of the so-called hybrid ‘deployment threshold’ under wet conditions.

The point at which hybrid systems can be activated on cars fitted with intermediate- or wet-weather tires has been defined at between 140-160 km/h “or higher”.

This was the figure loosely posited by ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil when the dry tire threshold of more than 120 km/h was announced in June.

Additionally, a car can engage its hybrid power when maintaining a speed of less than 120 km/h over the course of a lap that ends with the car entering the pits.

The requirements to build engines based on Le Mans Hypercars, as well as MGU-K production requirements, have been upheld from the original technical regs.

However, bespoke single MGU-Ks will now be allowed alongside ‘of the make’ MGU-K units which are subject to the production rules that require a minimum of 25 road cars equipped with the same unit as a manufacturer’s race car by the end of its second calendar year of competition.

The new rulebook has also confirmed that movable aerodynamic devices will not be allowed.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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