Connect with us

24H Le Mans

“Wider Panel” of Manufacturers Targeted for Hypercar Regs

FIA, ACO targeting “wider panel” of manufacturers for new ‘hypercar’ regulations for 2020-21…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

A “wider panel” of manufacturers, including low-volume hypercar and supercar producers, have been targeted for the FIA and ACO’s new top prototype class formula.

The new top class regulations, which are set to debut in the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship season, have been created in consultation with leading OEMs including Toyota, Ford, Porsche and Ferrari.

However, the regulations have also been aimed for existing prototype constructors, such as ORECA, Dallara and Onroak Automotive for privateer car sales, as well as specialized boutique manufacturers.

“What is sure is that we’ll have a wider panel of manufacturers,” said FIA technical director Gilles Simon. “We may have some OEMs interested but also some specialists manufacturers.

“By specialists I mean, people doing sports cars/hypercars. There’s quite a lot of these manufacturers that are interested.

“I think we will build this category thinking to these new category of manufacturers entering the top category at Le Mans and in WEC and maybe in IMSA.”

Manufacturers such as Koenigsegg or Bugatti have been mentioned as potential targets, while James Glickenhaus, who has competed in the Nürburgring 24 with his GT3-based SCG 003C, has long held ambitions of building a car that could fight for the overall win at Le Mans.

“Dallara could make a deal with a company like Koenigsegg or Bugatti and make a car,” ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil said.

“All kinds of ideas are possible as you have the freedom to make it how you want.

“You don’t have the constraints of the aerodynamics or performance. It will make the car go in that direction but there is no constraints of being a hypercar constructor to make the car.”

Beaumesnil said each car will have a “free” design, which will not be confined to a particular road car, therefore allowing a wide range of concepts.

“The idea is to make the identity of the brand,” he said. “For example, if they make a nice show car at an [auto show], they can use this design and make it possible.

“They have the ability to make it appear as they want because the shape of the car will not be dictated by the needs of downforce and aero. So it’s really what makes it possible.”

The cars will feature bespoke prototype-grade monocoque designs but with “sports car” dimensions that will allow for increased safety measures, according to Simon. 

“It will be a two-seater, so quite different than today,” he said.

FIA President Jean Todt said last month that he could foresee between “five to seven” manufacturers in the new, yet-to-be-named platform.

A detailed set of regulations is expected to be released by December.

Hybrid Development Open to All Companies

The development and sale of hybrid systems, meanwhile, will not be restricted to just OEMs, according to the FIA’s Simon, who indicated that independent companies are also free to produce power units.

All cars competing in the class will be required to utilize a front axle-mounted KERS-based system that will produce 200kW of electric power.

“We believe it’s interesting enough for specialists, of battery or electric motors, to build a proposal, but obviously it will be an open market,” said Simon.

“They can homologate a set and propose it to customers. But some manufacturers will prefer to develop their own systems.”

Beaumesnil said it hasn’t yet been determined what the cost-cap will be for the sale of the units but said that any system that’s homologated must be available for sale.

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

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Joel

    June 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    It’s funny, when the regs broke light last Friday, the first car that I pictured was the SCG-003C

    Beaumesnil is behind the times, Dallara are about to enter the road car market with their first car, if they were going to build to the new “LMP1” regs then they would build it to sort of look like their new car, surely!

    I would also like to ask what changes are going to be made to the next gen LMP2 cars and how this affects continuity and progression! There is an LMP3 then LMP2 but now it seems there won’t be an LMP1 to cap it off!

    • GTS

      June 19, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      I would think they’ll build it to look like whatever the guy with the biggest cheque wants.

  2. John Martin

    June 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Let the ACO and FIA WEC, go there own way, with IMSA keeping there DPi formula with more manufacturers design elements, maybe going to a 2 seat sports car cockpit,untethering the performance of the DPi from P2, by allowing DPi to run unrestricted production based engines with a fuel allocation and active aerodynamics but NO HYBRID SYSTEM, that only adds COST, Weight and COMPLEXITY. Thus P2 becomes a gentleman’s spec championship series.

    • el_gordo

      June 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      active aerodynamics and then next sentence no hybrid because of cost – lost me there

      • John Martin

        June 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm

        Lets see Porsche 911 turbo $235,000, has a retractable front splitter, Ford GT $400,000 has an active deployable rear spoiler, Lamborghini Huracan $200,000 has the Performante’s Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system, the upcoming Corvette C8 Zora will have active splitters, undercarriage wind tunnels with active flaps and a deployable rear spoiler with rumoured price of $100,000..So active aerodynamics for the DPi is not cost prohibitive, but a hybrid system is along with the added weight penalty.

    • Redcap

      June 18, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      I’m with you John. We don’t need no stinking hybrids!

  3. jason

    June 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    I like this idea a lot it could encourage in house projects like the Panoz or Lister Storm in the 1990’s GT1 days.

    Remember one year the Lister Storm was challenging the WSC prototypes for the overall lead at Daytona. It was 1996 or 97.

    I think LMP2 as it is now could continue to operate but a Gibson engine with less power might be needed to have the cars lap in the 3 min 30’s at Le Mans. Not 3:20s.

    GTE is the interesting one. That category might become obsolete. We see Ferrari and now Aston building cars that are convertible to GT3. I think the time to bring in GT3 to Le Mans will be in 2021.

    • Prototype 1

      June 18, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      I agree jason, the time to bring GT3 into the WEC is when the new regs comes in in 2020-21.

      This will see the return of Manufactures like Audi, Bentley, Mercedes, McLaren and Nissan. And will also attract new Manufactures like Lamborghini, Honda, Lexus, Renault and Glickenhaus (pictured above), along with current ones like Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche.

      Having GT3 in the WEC and Le Mans I think will give the championship a boost.

      • Prototype 1

        June 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        GT3 Manufactures:
        Returning: Audi-R8 LMS/ Bentley-Continental GT3/ Mercedes-AMG GT3/ McLaren-720 GT3/ Nissan-GT-R Nismo GT3

        New: Lamborghini-Huracán GT3/ Honda-NSX GT3/ Lexus-RC F GT3/ Renault-Sport R.S. 01/ Glickenhaus- ?

        Current: Aston Martin-Vantage AMR GT3/ BMW-M6 GT3/ Chevrolet-Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R/ Ferrari-488 GT3/ Porsche-991 GT3 R

    • Prototype 1

      June 18, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      Also, I don’t think GTE will become obsolete, they are doing to well. Most of the coverage of the LMS was on GTE-Pro because the battles were so close.

      • JASon

        June 19, 2018 at 7:06 am

        Most GTE manufacturers will move to GTP potentially

        • GTS

          June 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm

          GTE will continue as is.

          A 911 or 488 based road car is very different to something like an Aston Martin Valkyrie. It should also be pointed out most of the new GTE cars are built up from a GT3 base

  4. TF110

    June 18, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Not sure I’m liking the wide cockpit. I think the Mazda dpi is as wide as they should be but they don’t look like sleek hypercars or late 90’s gt1’s currently. The cockpit is too high and looks like it sits on top of the car instead of being a part of it.

  5. Kirk

    June 18, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Is it just me or does that thing look like a Gen 1 DP?

    • Grand Am Fan

      June 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      I love the look of the sexy coupes. Wide cockpits and flat roofs look awesome on prototype cars. The new Le Mans specs remind me of the Chase, Fabcar and Picchio (very underrated cars in the looks department). The Porsche-Fabcar was awesome.

      • The voice of reason

        June 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

        You’re a troll, get the fuck out.

        • George 917-30

          June 18, 2018 at 7:51 pm

          Actually, he hit it right on the money, based upon the illustration at the top. And I detested the look of the Gen1 dp’s.

        • Grand Am Fan

          June 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

          It is going to be awesome when we have prototypes banging wheels through the Porsche Curves or on the Mulsanne (like Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch at Darlington).

  6. Jess Deason

    June 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Everyone that is knocking the use of Hybrid should take a look at the manufactures. Which manufactures are not adding new Hybrid models to their model line up every year. By my count there were 12 manufactures and 5 constructors at the Friday presser. Majority of the same manufactures and constructors were also at SPA. There are a number of specialty manufactures that are also interested in the new LMP-1 regs. When even Ford and GM are in the first couple of rows, it would seem to me IMSA can should the handwriting on the wall. The $30-40M budget is not out of line, to race two cars in the WEC. How much money do you think Joest, Penske and Cadillac are spending. I have no doubt it is more than $5-10M dollars. Besides there is no way a $500K DPi car is going to keep up with a $3M WEC LMP-1 car. Besides sponsors are available if teams want to go after them. We ask our sponsors where they wanted to spend their money and all 4 immediately stated WEC. The ROI is much better.4 sponsors with $10M each should take care of the funding for the first year.

    • Thinking you're Ian Dawson good sir

      June 18, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Sorry but nothing you’ve said about sponsors is bared out with the lineup and sponsors on ANY WEC. Almost every car is hooked up with someone attached to the car, where are these sponsors teams can attract? Other than a few B2B, usually owned by a driver or team principal. And NO ONE, and I mean, NO ONE is getting 10 million from a single sponsor any more. Hell, NASCAR teams aren’t getting that any more so why would a two bit ZERO exposure series think they can get that level of sponsors?

      • Jess Deason

        June 18, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        We already have it because of our B2B relationship and partners in the Mid East. There is plenty of money around. You just have to know where to go. And NO I am not Ian Dawson. However the first $10m is already in the bank. $2.5M from each other the 4 sponsors and a revolving letter of credit for the balance. In fact, a bank, real estate brokerage, airline and Wall street brokerage house are the 4. When one has deep pockets in the Middle East, anything is possible.

      • Jess Deason

        June 18, 2018 at 6:21 pm

        I would think your two bit commentary would certainly apply to Daytona Beach. I dont believe I have ever seen 12 manufactures and half a dozen privateer constructors show up at an IMSA meeting. No doubt you IMSA people will come up with something it just wont be at an IMSA gathering.

        • giveitarest

          June 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          What a pompous ass you are Jess.

        • George 917-30

          June 18, 2018 at 8:08 pm

          You IMSA people? Can’t we all just get along?

          As it has been for decades, two distinctly different racing markets. And I think Jim France and Scott Atherton are wiser now about the professed – and disproven – willingness of the ACO and FIA to ever compromise in any meaningful way on regulations to suit the realities of sportscar racing in North America.

          • Jess Deason

            June 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

            It is not a matter of getting along. The issue is, IMSA wants their cake and eat it too. IMSA is never going to get all those manufactures and constructors in a room for a presser. The ACO knows they have the support of the manufactures and constructors. Atherton goes to the meetings and comes out with grand preannouncements that IMSA is working to make something happen, when the FIA and ACO know at the end of the day, IMSA is not going to come to the party.

            Right now, if I am IMSA, I would think they are now forced to play ball or take their ball and go home. Now IMSA has to look down the barrel of a big gun. Two of their long time manufactures are looking quite favorably at the new LMP-1 rules. Ford has already told IMSA, the GT program is going away and they want to race prototypes. GM was at the meeting for the same reason. There is no decision to race the corvette with a new car. While $30M is a lot of money, I doubt it is far from what Penske, Joest and Cadillac are spending now.

            If IMSA wants to run a low budget DPi program then more power to them. But dont knock the ACO and FIA who have the manufactures in their corner and willing to spend $30m to help develop the Hybrid systems and go race. Comment was made Saturday, you cant expect a $500k DPi car with no Hybrid or 4 wheel drive to compete against a $3M LMP-1 car with Hybrid and 4 wheel drive.

            There are two completely separate philosophies in play. The ACO wants the manufactures and IMSA does not unless it is in a dumbed down form. It is never going to happen. Both organizations know it. So they need to do their own thing. One is not good and one is not bad. JUst a different game on each side of the Atlantic.

  7. Zone

    June 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Can’t stand the looks of the caddy DPi . That 2006 design is awful and Peugeot created this ugly thing. Then a fin was added to add topping to a ugly cake. Let’s get back to a beautiful women racing around the track.

    • jason

      June 19, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Yeah can’t say I’m the biggest fan of it either. I preferred the Corvette DP much more.

      • Grand Am Fan

        June 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

        My favorite was the Multimatic Ford Focus DP. That car just looked wicked.

  8. Blue Oval fan

    June 19, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Jess makes some excellent points, but you take away Lemans, and the ACO has nothing, much the same way the IRL used the Indy 500 in it’s battle with CART. IMSA has America which almost every single manufacturer will tell you is there biggest market, so how do you fund racing programs? By selling cars stupid. I thought the biggest reasoning behind the new regs was to have them work for BOTH series, much like GTLM, and GTE now. So manufacturers can play in both. Anything otherwise is counter productive, and just plain dumb. I despise Hybrids, but also realize its the way of the future, and to the point almost every manufacturer now offers it. If the ACO is smart they will work with IMSA, otherwise we are right back where we started.

  9. Jenner

    June 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

    GT1 2.0

  10. AS Punoichongaux

    June 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    So what are constructors interested of new “GTP”? Mclaren, Ford, Toyota? Some “privaters”, Dynamo Kyiev? MFK Trnolovece?

  11. Dave

    June 19, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    If I had to look at it objectively, I would say IMSA has more manufacturers at the table on their top class. GM, Acura, Mazda, Nissan, Not to mention more manufacturers overall across the grid. The ACO announced new regs last year and then had to walk them back when no one – and I mean no one- was interested and had to offer up a super-season to regroup. They are closer and more realistic now, but they are going to have to give more. If you force hybrid on everyone then half will bail faster than Nissan at Le Mans when they experience trouble with hybrid tech. Manufacturers want to be in the top class for the least amount of money – plain and simple.

    • GTS

      June 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      The hybrid will be an interchangeable customer option. Either from a specialist constructor or a manufacturer.

  12. Roger Capone

    June 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    How about just 2 classes – LMP2 style prototypes with and GT3. Allow the GT3 engines in the prototypes and have pro-am sub-classes for both. Get rid of the ugly fins, encourage factory support, but not factory teams. Allow more development and variety. NO HYBRIDS! No one cares about them except the tree huggers. Increase mechanical grip, reduce the reliance on aerodynamic downforce, and increase braking distances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in 24H Le Mans