Ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the FIA have announced the finalised regulations for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2020/21 “Hyper Sport Car” class.
The new class aims to compete with the current LMP1 class, suggesting that the inaugural season of the new cars will be a transition period. Predicted lap times for the “Hyper Sport Cars” around Le Mans is a 3m30s (race average), which is slower than the predicted lap times of the Privateers in today’s race. Due to this, the LMP1s will be slowed down to make sure there is a level playing field between all cars in class.
The new regulations allow both road-legal hypercars and purpose build prototypes to enter the class. For a road-legal manufacturer, at least 20 road models of their car must be produced in two years for it to be eligible to race in the series. The expansion of the regulations to include road-legal cars sees the prospect manufacturers increase significantly, with Ferrari and McLaren being favourites to join.
A Balance of Performance system will be how the three different car types (road-legal, purpose build prototypes and LMP1s) are kept in competition with each other. It has not been revealed how this will be calculated as of yet, but a similar automated system to what is used in GTE Pro could be an option.
The cars will be rated on a power curve to make sure a competitive order is achieved. At the time of homologation, the performance data will be set to maintain a base-line competitive order, with BoP being applied and changed on a race-by-race case.
There will also be performance caps in place to prevent teams from dropping large budgets on the development of their cars to achieve better pace. However, no fuel flow or Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) will be set for the class.
One tyre manufacturer will supply the whole field with tyres to once again ensure relative competition between the different car types. The tyre supplier, yet to be announced (but the speculation is that Michelin will continue to supply the class), will provide different sized tyres to accommodate the weight distributions. This is a change from the current LMP1 regulations which has an open tyre formula, even though all teams opt to use the Michelin tyres.
So far, three teams have confirmed they will enter the new regulations class. Toyota Gazoo Racing will build a purpose build prototype for the new regulations, whilst Aston Martin Racing will be the first to bring in a road-legal car to the class with their Valkyrie . Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus will also join as a full season WEC competitor for the 2020/21 season, giving us at least five cars so far for the new regulations.