Featured A Closer Look at the Proposed 2020 Le Mans / WEC Regulations

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    LM24 New Regs.jpg
    The FIA and ACO have revealed more of the "Hypercar" Le Mans / WEC regulations set to be introduced for the 2020 racing season...


    Reverting more towards a road relevant and cost effective technology for the 2020 racing season, the FIA have confirmed more details about the revolutionary rule set to be introduced into the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours for the next five years, marking the end of the current LMP1 Prototype era.

    Set to be in place for the 2020 season and at least the following five years, the new rules have been designed to attract a wider range of manufacturers to endurance racing, whilst promising to be approximately one quarter of the cost currently associated with running a competitive Prototype team in WEC and Le Mans.

    With full specification expected towards the end of the year, the FIA in partnership with the ACO have used the Le Mans platform this weekend to brief journalists further on the aims and intentions of the latest changes coming to the World Endurance Championship, confirming that the new top tier class of the category should better represent manufacturer vehicles available to drive on the road, with body shapes resembling hypercars, supercars, luxury GTs or concept cars, something akin to the FIA GT1 World Championship machines of the late 1990's and early 2000's.

    According to the FIA, the new rules should have a focus on aesthetics, and the use of hybrid technology, KERS and four wheel driver are some of the cornerstones of the new category. Although these are expensive technologies, it is expected that a cost cap might be put in place to ensure excessive spending is avoided by the manufacturers, with direct use in road going machines one of the mandatory requirements of the hybrid package.

    Also on the table will be "free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost", with the FIA keen to see variety in the top level of endurance racing both in terms of car shape and engine style, whist remaining focussed on keeping costs under control and the regulations sustainable and technically challenging.

    “What has been announced today is the first step in a new direction for the premier class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new regulations are a framework that will be attractive to more manufacturers and teams, while at the same time retaining the excitement of endurance racing for existing fans to enjoy and to attract a new generation of spectator to the sport. The proposals announced today include cost limiting measures, making hybrid power more affordable and building a future for endurance with renewable energy. From 2020 the front of the grid will look very different and it is an exciting prospect that we are all looking forward to seeing.” said Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission.
    With more teams, more manufacturers, sleeker and more recognisable body shapes and a focus on bringing some of the glamor back to endurance racing, understandably Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouestt is excited for the future of long distance racing on the world stage:

    “Crafting these regulations was particularly satisfying as very quickly it sparked interest and gained the support of competitors or potential competitors. A new era will dawn in 2020 for endurance racing. On paper it has enormous potential. Le Mans 2018, 2019 and 2020 will each be outstanding editions, but now I can’t wait for the start at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

    The full FIA press release can be read below:

    A new top class for the FIA World Endurance Championship will be launched for 2020-2024: sleeker prototypes with more marque cachet. While these racing cars will cut quite an imposing figure, they will also retain the usage of a hybrid system while leaving free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost. The name of the new class will be chosen by popular vote.

    The 2020-2024 plan will usher in a new era of endurance racing with an ultramodern style of prototype, with a name to be determined by fans of the FIA WEC. Super Sportscar, GTPrototype, Le Mans Supercars or Le Mans Hypercars? The choice is the fans’!

    The regulations, devised by the FIA and the ACO, focus on the appearance, style and lines of the cars in the new premier league. Team and car diversity in endurance racing is one of the discipline’s foremost trademarks, never truer with the emergence of these stylized yet muscular cars, veritable racing beasts in the spirit and image of endurance. They will take on circuits like Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, Fuji and Sebring in the day and night, rain or shine, in hot weather as in cold. That calls for a tough prototype, one as imposing as it is ingenious and technological. One that turns heads, like hypercars, supercars, prestigious GTs and concept cars do on the street or at any given motor show.

    Aerodynamics cannot take precedence over aesthetics.

    Being the top class, these new prototypes must be technologically powerful and compelling in design and will therefore remain hybrid, with a KERS system in front and 4WD to ensure energy efficiency. This technology will become more and more popular as the KERS system developed by some constructors will have to be used on production cars at a pre-defined price.

    These new prototypes will have an alluring design and incredible pace. The regulations seek excellence: 3:20.00 per lap at Le Mans with limited fuel. The other priority is cost. They will be remarkable, competitive, innovative and affordable - requiring around a quarter of current budgets. Costly developments will be kept in check by a new homologation procedure and technical rules that will naturally reduce budgets.

    However, there will be no restrictions on engine selection. Consumption rules will ensure fair competition between different systems. The new regulations will take effect for 2020-2024.

    Exciting times ahead for long distance racing fans..!

    Can't get enough of #LM24?
    Continue reading the rest of our 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans files or subscribe to our social media channels for instant updates during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    Do you like the sound of the new regs? Do you think the 2020 rule set will improve the spectacle of WEC endurance racing? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
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  2. farjam

    farjam

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    This is their early example of that hypercar thing :
    wec-2020-lmp1-regulations-2018-2020-lmp1-regulations-8559634.jpg
    wec-2020-lmp1-regulations-2018-2020-lmp1-regulations-8561376.jpg

    May be i'm drunk (well because my team finally got his second win in WC history :p)but all i see is AMG Project One here :D
     
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  3. Diogo Goetz Brand

    Diogo Goetz Brand

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    That's probably their objective. Imagine seeing a LaFerrari, 918, P1, AMG and so on competing at Le Mans. I like LMP1, but having road car silhouettes at the top class of Le Mans, especially if many manufacturers join, just sounds like a dream come true.
     
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  4. RobertGracie

    RobertGracie

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    As long as 55% of the power comes from Fuel and the other 45% comes from electrical that would be so good and burn the engine regulations in a fire and start dancing on the remains and say "Every engine is legal" I will be happy!
     
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  5. Tbear

    Tbear
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    Can you imagine ALL of the manufacturers: Jag, Aston Martin, BMW, Bently, Mercedes, Porsche, Peugeot, Ferrari, Maserati, Lambo, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, Mazda ... ALL of them creating new cars to compete in this class??? Far OUT!!!

    AS much as I like the LMP cars ... I LOVE the idea of basing this class on road going cars.

    But a "choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost" ... maybe I'm old and cynical, but I just don't see that happening. I remember the money-no-object horsepower wars of the 1970's.

    The best part (for me) ... this comes at a time when Corvette and Ford are planning new cars ... and I keep hearing rumors of mid-engined cars coming from them.

    You could almost see the car in the drawings that @farjam posted in US racing colors ... wearing a Chevy bowtie.
     
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  6. Rune Janssens

    Rune Janssens

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    Kind of not sure if I love it or hate it.

    On one hand, it makes the car closer to the late 90s GT1s, Toyota GT One, CLK GT-R that kind of stuff, which I love. Just imagining how those cars would look like if they designed in 2020, makes me curious to see what brands come up with.

    But it also means the "death" of LMP1 as we know it, and brings along a lot of uncertaintly. Does that mean LMP2 becomes the fastest class? Will LMP2 just be rebranded LMP? How will they stack up against each other, these two top classes (LMP1GT & LMP2)?

    They're a bit too vague about their current idea for me to jump on the bandwagon, but I'll follow it closely, because if done correctly, then the future could look very bright for the WEC.
     
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  7. formidable

    formidable

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    I was just thinking about lmp2.
     
  8. Helmut Skrdla

    Helmut Skrdla
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    The Aston Vulcan presentation gave me a boner.

    That kind of thing competing would be heaven.
     
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  9. Diogo Goetz Brand

    Diogo Goetz Brand

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    If their aim is to make cars that will lap Le Mans at around 3:20, what makes you think that LMP2 would become the fastest class? GT1 and LMP already raced together during the 90's. As far as I know GT1 was usually faster, but eventually some LMPs would win because of reliability issues. There's no reason for GT1 and LMPs not to race together again, and there's no reason why GT1 can't be faster than LMP2.
     
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  10. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    "According to the FIA, the new rules should have a focus on aesthetics, and the use of hybrid technology, KERS and four wheel driver are some of the cornerstones of the new category. "

    I already lost interest.
     
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  11. JusTiCe8

    JusTiCe8

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    Does they also plan some "this is NOT a plane you are designing, it's a car" tests ? Or Mercedes and Porsches will fly again ?

    They could also include a "boost overtake" button in car to pass over :p (imagine the face of the driver "I'm blocking him... blocking... hey hey you cannot overtake mate hey hey.... mmm... where is he ???? OOOOOMMMGGGG he did it, HOOOOWWWW ???")

    (Germans are so clever, they've tried a new path for overtaking... unfortunately, in 1999, it was just take off part)
     
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  12. wombat999

    wombat999
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    Aerodynamics cannot take precedence over aesthetics.
    They've got me with that one line!;)
     
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  13. Richard Dastardly

    Richard Dastardly
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    Thankfully we can finally ditch that ridiculous idea of road hypercars competing as top class. This does look like 90s GT1 all over again, and the final cars in that - eg Toyota GT-One - ended up looking quite like today's prototypes and indeed ran in LMGTP in their final year, so I don't see this being different in the end. The important announcement was probably the "cheap" hybrid system. That line about aesthetics worries me, tbh - I read it as advertising being more important than racing.

    Would think LMP2 is going to get a minor performance reduction at some point anyway, but 3:20 is beyond their capabilities.
     
  14. Glaurung

    Glaurung
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    I think that it's a bad idea to abandon the LMP1 class.
    If their aim is the cost reduction (to attract more manufacturers) I don't get how a modern GT1 car could be cheaper to design and build as long as the technology is quite the same of a LMP1 apart the aesthetic.
     
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  15. Loren Thomas

    Loren Thomas

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    I like the idea of going back to something that's a bit more of a sports car and less of an F1 car with some bodywork.
     
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  16. Richard Dastardly

    Richard Dastardly
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    It isn't though - it's just some aesthetic panels on a LMP chassis, it's as much a sports car as 90s GT1 - imagine that example car if you take the wing panels off, the shape is no different to what we have now. The historic difference between single seaters & prototype chassis has been the extra seat, and that's about it - the 312PB was more or less literally a ferrari F1 car with a new body as an example.
     
  17. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    The original idea about prototypes made up by the ACO was that it would be actual previews of cars that would later be buyable where GT's were already existing road going cars made ready for the track.

    That original idea never really worked out like that obviously, but it might just do it this time with this new set of rules.

    Then again, some manufacturers made cars that are going to compete in just 1 Super Season, I'm not sure they're really happy about that.
     
  18. Richard Dastardly

    Richard Dastardly
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    This is going to be LMP with a familiar nose shape, according to people who've analysed things - sorta like DPi, the idea was to brand the cars, not build replicas of anything roadgoing. The hybrid system is probably the important part, as is them switching to this at the end 2019(!) - no idea how they're going to get a grid ready by then.

    Anything is better than the farce of this race/WEC season though.
     
  19. wombat999

    wombat999
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    At this point in time with 7 hours to go at La Sarthe the two Toyota's are 10 laps ahead of the two Rebellion 'LMP1' entries. Change is needed sooner rather than later.
    :ninja:
     
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  20. Richard Dastardly

    Richard Dastardly
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    To be fair, Audi have won by over 20 laps in the past - not that that was any more interesting or less farcical than this, but at least they won on merit.
     
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