McLaren Automotive have speculated a potential return to top level GT competition, subject to the future of the Prototype division of endurance racing. With a mass exodus of works manufacturers from the World Endurance Championship ringing many alarm bells throughout the world of endurance racing, McLaren have recently given a major shot in the arm to the failing series by confirming their interest in a fully backed manufacturer return to the discipline, subject to agreeable regulation changes and manageable budgetary considerations. Executive Director of the McLaren Technology Group, the charismatic Zak Brown, has spoken up of his desire to see the famous British marque expand into the top tier of endurance racing alongside it's Formula One commitments, but only if the World Endurance Championship make significant changes to the way the series is currently run under joint stewardship of the ACO and World Motorsport governing body, the FIA; "I believe the WEC has an opportunity to hit the reset button," said Brown. "I'd love them to get back to the Porsche 956 or 962 days, where factory and privateer teams can race together knowing they each have chances of winning. "Right now, with the current rules, that's just not possible. But look at the success of the LMP2 category, where costs are controlled for the benefit of everyone, so I'd like to see that kind of thinking transferred to LMP1. "It's a bit like the DPi situation in IMSA. The manufacturers have spoken with their feet over there. If the WEC can replicate the same spirit and cost effectiveness of a rules package with an element of hybrid technology – of which I'm a big fan – then we're interested." Brown considers the substantial costs of remaining competitive in the current LMP1 era of endurance racing as one of the main reasons the series has hit such lean times recently, citing the opportunity to "reset" the series as a big draw to bringing down costs whilst still remaining relevant to the road car industry and new technologies; "Set the economic criteria first, and do it so you reflect the great history of the sport. You don't necessarily need to replicate IMSA's DPi platform, but use its spirit perhaps. Another alternative would be to make DPi a fully-global platform. Again, we'd be interested in that." "R&D needs to be a benefit for any manufacturer in motorsports, but it's not the only reason to do it. If it's not an efficient spend, there's no point – it should be in proportion to the payback. At end of day, motor racing is a marketing exercise." With positive noises coming from McLaren and rumours circulating that several other high profile manufacturers could be interested in joining should a move to lower costs and increased competitiveness come to fruition, the future of the top category in endurance racing may not seem quite a dire as recent weeks suggest. For more news from the big wide world of motorsports head over to our Motorsport sub forum and get involved in the action. Would you like to see a return of the McLaren name to top tier endurance racing? Can the ACO and FIA resurrect a faltering series before it eventually dies a slow death? How can the series attract more big names like McLaren going forward? Let us know in the comments section below..