2020 WEC Cost Reduction Not Enough for IMSA to Bring back LMP1 to US Racing

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Credit: Craig Robertson

Scott Atherton, the boss of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, says an even greater reduction in cost in the prototype rules announced by the FIA World Endurance Championship is needed if the same regulations are to be adopted in his championship.

The World Endurance Championship is aiming to reduce the budgets of the LMP1 class to twenty-five per cent of its current level for the 2020/21 season, but Atherton feels even this is too expensive for it to be considered for IMSA action.

IMSA’s top class is currently made up of LMP2 and DPi machinery, but Atherton is open to a return of LMP1 machinery should the costs be suitable for it.

“In many areas we are completely aligned, but I would say the one category that continues to be a point of separation is budget,” said Atherton to

“Even with the significant reductions announced it still represents a big increase from where we are with the DPi and LMP2 formula that is working well.”

Atherton still has ambition to have common prototype regulations for both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship by 2022, and talks will continue in that vein to ensure that happens.

“Our mission right now is to do everything we can to have common regulations,” said Atherton.  “We will be working aggressively in that direction over the next four or five months before the rules need to be ratified at the end of the year.”

Currently hybrid regulations are set to stay in the World Endurance Championship and Atherton sees no reason why they cannot also be used in IMSA, although this will not be until at least 2022 when the current engine regulations conclude.

“Hybrid is not a sticking point — we are happy to embrace that,” said Atherton. “What becomes the challenge is how you control that technology and the cost.”

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