The ACO has confirmed that the newly-dubbed “Le Mans Hypercar Prototype” formula will be used for the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship from the 2020/21 season.
This means that the current LMP1 class will be replaced with this revamped ruleset for the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours, as forecast by RACER in recent weeks.
Now gone from reckoning are both the GTE Plus and DPi ‘Plan B’ options, with both Toyota and Aston Martin due to announce Hypercar Prototype programs as early as today. RACER believes that other major manufacturers are close to committing after privately expressing their interest in the new formula should the regulations prove capable of applying effective BoP and cost control.
Under the new rules, the cars will have a minimum weight of 1100 kilos, with around 750hp engines. Both hybrid and non-hybrid cars are allowed, with the hybrid systems capable of producing 250hp.
In order to help equalize performance between hybrids and non-hybrids, hybrid vehicles will not be permitted to deploy their boost below 120 kph (75 mph) on slick tires, with a speed between 140-160 kph (87-100 mph) set to be defined for deployment in wet weather.
In addition, there will be BoP (based on GTE’s auto BoP) for road car vs prototype chassis, as well as the various drivetrains. Underfloor aero is open.
There will be strict safety parameters, too. Safety standards for the road car-based chassis for this formula will be “similar to LMP1,” according to the ACO.
To be eligible for competition, manufacturers of a Hypercar based on a road-going model must produce a minimum of 20 road-going versions over a two-year period.
There will be a single tire supplier.
RACER also believes that the initial rule provision that OEM hybrid systems must be provided for sale to other competitors has not made it into the final draft of the regulations.