Recently-proposed changes to the forthcoming Le Mans Hypercar formula to reduce costs and balance performance with the LMDh ruleset – thereby allowing ACO-IMSA convergence – have been approved by the FIA Endurance Commission.
Several changes to the technical rules were proposed and approved at the most recent Endurance Commission meeting ahead of the formula’s debut in the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
“We need to consider the evolution of the economic environment and adopt cost-saving measures to support the efforts of the manufacturers,” said Richard Mille, the President of the FIA Endurance Commission.
“With the announcement of the ACO/IMSA outlining the basic details of the LMDh platform and the decision of the FIA Endurance Commission to modify the technical specification of the Le Mans Hypercar category, we are finally moving towards the convergence.
“Having both platforms eligible for the future top class in the FIA World Endurance Championship will allow more diversity in the technical approaches, and thus attract more competitors. This is something that all parties involved – including the manufacturers committed to the Le Mans Hypercar category, the FIA and the ACO – have been working towards since the beginning. This is an important step for the future of endurance racing.”
The changes affect three key areas of the LMH rules: the power, weight and aerodynamic performance of the cars. The maximum amount of power has been reduced from 585kW to 500Kw, and the minimum weight of the cars has also been changed, down to 1030kg from 1100kg.
The FIA believes these changes will cut development and running costs for teams and manufacturers committed to the rules, and allow the cars to be balanced with IMSA’s LMDh platform, opening the door for LMP2-based prototypes with manufacturer styling cues and a spec hybrid system becoming eligible to compete in the FIA WEC, and therefore the Le Mans 24 Hours. Both sets of cars will be identical in terms of power, weight and aero performance.
“ACO and IMSA have now laid solid foundations for convergence allowing the top class of competitors to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship and in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
“LMDh (Le Mans Daytona “h”) and Le Mans Hypercar will be governed by convergent regulations to ensure similar performance characteristics. The technical teams at the FIA and the ACO have worked hard to adapt the LMH regulations and the result has been warmly welcomed by manufacturers. We must be proactive to build the future of endurance.
“This announcement is further evidence of the constructive collaboration that is crucial to our discipline.”