WEC | Gordon Murray Evaluating Hypercar Entry

Legendary Formula One designer Gordon Murray is evaluating an entry into the new 2021 WEC Hypercar category, planning to field his work-in-progress T.50 Supercar.

Murray is perhaps best known as the design genius behind numerous Brabham and McLaren Grand Prix cars, having spent 15 years in Formula One before turning his attention to the world or sportscars and GT racing, winning Le Mans in 1995 with the now iconic McLaren F1 - the car which has proven the inspiration for this new Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 supercar.

Now running his own Gordon Murray Automotive company, the South African-born British designer has his sights set on joining the World Endurance Championship from 2021, fielding the new car in what could be a famous return to the race track, and Le Mans, for the popular motorsport personality.

Although the T.50 hypercar is still very much in the design infancy, Murray has already opened pre-orders for the road going version, and has even fielded interest from folks looking to run the new machine once a race specification car becomes available;

"we have had some customers who are very interested in racing the car. We are all racers here, so we are very interested in racing it, too. It is in our DNA.
"We are about to announce very soon a tie-up with an F1 team for the use a wind-tunnel in the development of the T.50, so we are a step closer to racing already."

With the car publicly announced, and the considerable history of motorsport participation for Murray in his long career, it is perhaps inevitable that the designer already has an eye on the new regulations;

"A racing version of the T.50 would probably come out at about 900kg, so bolting in a couple of hundred kilogrammes of ballast doesn't appeal," he said.
"But because the new rules are based on performance balancing, hopefully there would be some way for us to run lighter but with less power."

"The people who run the series (WEC) are very interested in having us back after our history at Le Mans with the F1 GTR — I spoke to the ACO and the FIA back in February this year," Murray told Motosport.com.​

The beauty of the newly confirmed WEC Hypercar regulations is the opportunity for lesser known brands such as Gordon Murray Automotive to get involved with the sport at the top level, hopefully competing on an even footing with already confirmed big name manufacturers Aston Martin, Toyota, Peugeot and as is highly likely to be confirmed soon, McLaren.

Another small volume producing new manufacturer has already confirmed their intention to review a possible WEC entry in future, with David Brabham expressing interest in bringing the new 600bhp Brabham BT62 supercar into the top level of GT racing post 2021 - adding yet more exceptionally intriguing variety into what looks likely to become a golden period for sportscar racing once again. Oh, and what about a Fittipaldi EF7 too.....


If you want to talk all things racing, get over to the Motorsport sub forum and put together a new thread to chat with our awesome community!

Gordon Murray T50 Supercar 2.png
 

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Cote Dazur

1000RPM
Gordon Murray, born 18 June 1946, David Brabham (born 5 September 1965, but the name is famous because of his father) , Emerson Fittipaldi born 12 December 1946, Is it me or are we going toward the battle of the old men?
Is anything new happening at all!
Additionally, why should I be interested in prototype racing cars disguised as pseudo road cars with zero practicability toward road use that will be purchase by people insanely and insultingly rich to put in a garage to brag on their outrageous wealth. Appealing is what it is.
Those "hyper" vehicle are just even more ridiculous and absurd than the "super" cars. Build for people who should use their outrageous fortune for better cause.
Not impressed by this masquerade at all.:(
 
Gordon Murray, born 18 June 1946, David Brabham (born 5 September 1965, but the name is famous because of his father) , Emerson Fittipaldi born 12 December 1946, Is it me or are we going toward the battle of the old men?
Is anything new happening at all!
Additionally, why should I be interested in prototype racing cars disguised as pseudo road cars with zero practicability toward road use that will be purchase by people insanely and insultingly rich to put in a garage to brag on their outrageous wealth. Appealing is what it is.
Those "hyper" vehicle are just even more ridiculous and absurd than the "super" cars. Build for people who should use their outrageous fortune for better cause.
Not impressed by this masquerade at all.:(
You want to see a Toyota Yaris raced round as the top class?
 

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
Gordon Murray, born 18 June 1946, David Brabham (born 5 September 1965, but the name is famous because of his father) , Emerson Fittipaldi born 12 December 1946, Is it me or are we going toward the battle of the old men?
Is anything new happening at all!
Additionally, why should I be interested in prototype racing cars disguised as pseudo road cars with zero practicability toward road use that will be purchase by people insanely and insultingly rich to put in a garage to brag on their outrageous wealth. Appealing is what it is.
Those "hyper" vehicle are just even more ridiculous and absurd than the "super" cars. Build for people who should use their outrageous fortune for better cause.
Not impressed by this masquerade at all.

Because it's motorsport, not advertise road cars for the everyman parade.

Escapism, Entertainment, adventure, performance, exotic, romantic, powerful. Basically, motorsport. It's awesome :D :)
 

Cote Dazur

1000RPM
You want to see a Toyota Yaris raced round as the top class?
Missing the point by a mile, I never ever mentioned Yaris, and those will replace the LMP1, who are as far as a Yaris as can be. those masquarade road cars by pretending not to be the pure prototype that they really will be. We had prototypes that were assuming their status, they were called LMP1.

Because it's motorsport, not advertise road cars for the everyman parade.

Escapism, Entertainment, adventure, performance, exotic, romantic, powerful. Basically, motorsport. It's awesome :D :)
You are also missing the point, I am not advertising the top class of the WEC to be like the BTCC, just for prototype not to masquerade as some road car that will never be driven.
LMP1, have all the Escapism, Entertainment, adventure, performance, exotic, romantic, powerful those pretend road cars will ever have, so I do not see what you are trying to say.
Starting in the 60's Le Mans has been raced by car that were less and less road cars to eventually evolve into pure prototypes. Those new aberrations are just a mockery, I am surprised you don't see it.
We already have the GTE pretending to be modified road cars, that should be enough.
 

mantasisg

1000RPM
Oooh yeah, love it !

And perhaps this is the only chance to have S397 to make a car in the future that uses H shifter for rF2, and perhaps expand the simulation for this matter. :D

I love this T50 design. Looking forward to see it coming into reality. I wonder if WEC would alow a fan technology, they would be terrible if they doesn't. And it is indeed a bit annoying how they make minimum weights so high, perhaps it would be more useful to limit wheelbases and/or tracks to achieve their goal of dodging cars to be using too expensive materials. Maximum power to weight ratio does indeed sound very reasonable as Murray suggests there, better than high minimum weights IMO. And it is disappointing to me how modern super/racing cars trends does move to bigger and more automatic, more complex...Thats why I like this T50 already, small, light, relatively simple and oldskool with a modern touch.
 

mantasisg

1000RPM
We already have the GTE pretending to be modified road cars, that should be enough.
Thats the closest to masquerade, as you suggest. Well maybe GTE is not too bad, but GT3 is and GTE and GT3 are barely different. Not to mention that whole GTE GT3 car grids overall aren't very different, and still requires silly BOP rules in order to please everyone, it is literally a masquerade. They should be much closer to road cars, and there shouldn't be silly BOP.

This upcoming hypercars class is something very much like GT40, 330P4, T70, 2F, 907... of 60s prototypes, when they still had good resemblance to road cars. Not like the very most modern prototypes has to put heavy design effort to make them slightly more similar to road cars, than to top secret jet fighters with wheels instead of wings. I don't care about what is it called hypercar, megacar, stupidcar or what, I think it could be just sill a prototype, but with completely new regulations philosophy to make them more practical for the essence of it being a car and not an airship. And the way I see it is going to have awesome variety in the grid, possibly in racing too and there may be some exciting racing to be seen that was not common since 90s and earlier.
 

KittX

250RPM
Thats the closest to masquerade, as you suggest. Well maybe GTE is not too bad, but GT3 is and GTE and GT3 are barely different. Not to mention that whole GTE GT3 car grids overall aren't very different, and still requires silly BOP rules in order to please everyone, it is literally a masquerade. They should be much closer to road cars, and there shouldn't be silly BOP.

This upcoming hypercars class is something very much like GT40, 330P4, T70, 2F, 907... of 60s prototypes, when they still had good resemblance to road cars. Not like the very most modern prototypes has to put heavy design effort to make them slightly more similar to road cars, than to top secret jet fighters with wheels instead of wings. I don't care about what is it called hypercar, megacar, stupidcar or what, I think it could be just sill a prototype, but with completely new regulations philosophy to make them more practical for the essence of it being a car and not an airship. And the way I see it is going to have awesome variety in the grid, possibly in racing too and there may be some exciting racing to be seen that was not common since 90s and earlier.
although this is the reason why i actually like prototypes. No-compromise airshippery.
I miss the days of more relying on downforce than tech though, and open cockpits.
 

Cote Dazur

1000RPM
GT40, 330P4, T70, 2F, 907... of 60s prototypes, when they still had good resemblance to road cars
Those did not look like the road car of the 60's, they were there just to boost the brand, they were and looked like prototype. that was then, just going back to what was back then evolving toward what followed with that "hyper" car proposal looks backward to me. that some race cars are mimicking road cars, as long as they are road cars is totally fine. replacing prototypes by other prototypes that will be pretending to be "hyper" road cars that not even all the 1% can afford is ridiculous.
Any prototype should be able to look like whatever it wants, road car, jet plane, UFO, bring it own, let's have fun instead of being complaisant in pseudo retro babble. Let's push the boundaries and race the cars of the 21st century.
 

ZeroRisk

2000RPM
Premium
I dont get why some are perturbed about this?
Masquerading as road cars? I thought this was about the greatest race of the year?
Racing cars that most can't afford? Isn't that a lot of real motorsport?
Even racing top flight arrive and drive in the UK, Club100, costs a pretty penny, and some weeks I had to eat canned soups as I'd run out of money if there were 2 races in a month...
Also running a car and rent etc., but you get the point.
You could say the same about GT3 racing, these cars are usually circa ¼ million euros, who has that plus the fees for racing, crew, tyres, fuel, travel etc.? Its kind of moot what they're racing.
I tried out for the Clio Cup scholarship years ago and the prize was a season in Clios supporting the BTCC, this was 75k per year. Not affordable by most regular people I bet, and if you pranged the car beyond repair, that's another 25k please sir.
Do people go off on one about Formula 1? They're not like road cars that regular people can afford at all. But the super rich still buy them to race.
I'm not even sure where I'm going with this now as what some have said on this thread is a little confusing... :O_o:
 

KittX

250RPM
I dont get why some are perturbed about this?
Masquerading as road cars? I thought this was about the greatest race of the year?
Racing cars that most can't afford? Isn't that a lot of real motorsport?
Even racing top flight arrive and drive in the UK, Club100, costs a pretty penny, and some weeks I had to eat canned soups as I'd run out of money if there were 2 races in a month...
Also running a car and rent etc., but you get the point.
You could say the same about GT3 racing, these cars are usually circa ¼ million euros, who has that plus the fees for racing, crew, tyres, fuel, travel etc.? Its kind of moot what they're racing.
I tried out for the Clio Cup scholarship years ago and the prize was a season in Clios supporting the BTCC, this was 75k per year. Not affordable by most regular people I bet, and if you pranged the car beyond repair, that's another 25k please sir.
Do people go off on one about Formula 1? They're not like road cars that regular people can afford at all. But the super rich still buy them to race.
I'm not even sure where I'm going with this now as what some have said on this thread is a little confusing... :O_o:
Seems you also miss his point. No problem with prototypes being greatest performing racecars no one can afford nor drive, but pretending that hypercar prototypes are somewhat relatable to road cars that one theoretically can drive, is a compromise between both. Prototypes aren't no-compromise downforce cars anymore, while still the idea of driving such cars on the roads is not realistic at all, well, maybe apart from Saudi Arabia deserts.
It... its a bit like if you replace true athletes with steroid-boosted talk show stars to perform athletic sports, because unlike athletes they are more relatable to people, because they are also "cute" and "funny". Yet making total frankensteins of those performers so no one would relate or even talk to them in real life anymore.

Why not just name this class as GT1 for example, and leave prototypes do their prototype thing?
 
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mantasisg

1000RPM
Those did not look like the road car of the 60's, they were there just to boost the brand, they were and looked like prototype. that was then, just going back to what was back then evolving toward what followed with that "hyper" car proposal looks backward to me.
Have you seen how GT40 road car looked like ? Not similar ? Whats there to boost brand about Chaparral 2F, Lola T70, Ferrari 330P4 that were all about racing ? Those cars were as far technologically advanced for the automotive industry standards as it could have possibly been, and they all maintained natural relatable form and function, they have connected with down to earth sports road legal vehicles very directly.

Coming back from the spaceships to actual cars may appear as step backwards, but it is essentially coming back on to the right way. Those modern prototypes got out of the realm of an actual car, they just got somewhere where they just felt complete perfection and nowhere to go further, except to go autonomous plus put nuclear powerplant and then do a month lasting endurance race to make sense. Race itself was becoming too little for those cars.

In order to keep going forward the step backwards to more standard vehicles is necessary and resuming progress from there is necessary. I think big organisations must have realized it quite a bit before they announced hypercars, manufacturers of those cars also did that, thus began leaving. Now that there is something interesting and new, they will come back with fresh enthusiasm, and hopefully racing also will be more entertaining.

Any prototype should be able to look like whatever it wants, road car, jet plane, UFO, bring it own, let's have fun instead of being complaisant in pseudo retro babble. Let's push the boundaries and race the cars of the 21st century.
So who told to you that doesn't want to look like a supercars ? And I think the function is much more important over the looks, though thats of course is connected.

Lets have fun, and take inspiration from the past, from late sixties, from early seventies.

There is not much more boundaries to push for the most modern LMP cars, except to maybe try to throw driver out and try to make the car to run on different energy sources. maybe get rid of tires and wheels and go full aero hovercraft drone mode. very cars, much fun ? thats just where it is knocking at.

Or you can step down and stop carrying about pure laptimes and staying on rails forever. You can have effective endurance racing with challenges reset, with cars that perhaps are slower, but doesn't seem to be so, with more rougher edges so the stuff engineers will work on and teams will spend millions on will be less marginal and much more practical.
 

Cote Dazur

1000RPM
Have you seen how GT40 road car looked like ? Not similar ?
Yes, but was the only reason the gt40 had a road car version was for homologation?
In any case it did not look anything like any other American car of the 60’s.
To the rest of your very well written post, I do not agree with your view, but you maybe are right, I hope for everyone involved that it works for the sake of Motorsport even if I would prefer a different approach.
 

ermo

250RPM
This sounds more or less like the last nostalgic hurrah for an era soon to be bygone.

I'm sure it will be glorious.

However, there's no doubt that power train efficiency (1) , carbon-neutral fuel (2) and electrification (3) is the future.

The only thing about this design that isn't clearly a nod to the past is its lightweighting philosopy. I personally find it very strange that Mr. Murray's iStream manufacturing concept hasn't really caught on in the car manufacturing industry, given its toted mass and cost decreases and its purported improvement to corrosion resistance. Viewed through the lens of the associated efficiency and vehicle dynamics benefits of cutting chassis weight in half while at the same time offering improved chassis rigidity, this technology clearly has the potential to revolutionise the car industry.

(1): Turbo-chargers recuperate energy from otherwise un-utilised energetic exhaust gases and use this energy to offset engine pumping losses, giving the same size engine higher volumetric and thermodynamic efficiency.
(2): Formula 1 is reportedly aiming to help drive this research forward.
(3): See VW's very public announcement that they're abandoning development of new combustion engines and stopping their involvement in petrol-based racing series to focus on electric racing.
 
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