Despite the altered 2021 season for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which was supposed to start in September 2020, the new Hypercar class will still come into action for WEC’s next season.
The Hypercar class is seeing a six month delay from when it was originally supposed to make its debut at the start of Season 9, with the expected new start date for the 2021 season being the 1,000 Miles of Sebring due to take place in March next year. The revised Season 9 calendar has yet to be announced, but it will not commence until 2021 and will return to a one-year calendar.
At the recent World Motorsport Council meeting, it was confirmed that the Hypercars would head to the track as planned with the start of Season 9, whilst some other details were ratified with concerns to power, weight, control of aerodynamics and the merger of the class between WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Both series will have their top classes integrate and be focused on the Hypercars, with WEC naming them Le Mans Hypercars (LMH) and IMSA going with Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh). WEC will lead the change, taking on the cars in 2021 whilst IMSA will bring them in for the 2022 season. The premise behind the merger is to enable top class runners from both WEC and IMSA to race against each other in races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Both classes will have their own regulations, but the baseline of all the Hypercars will be the same so they can all match both IMSA and WEC requirements. A unique Balance of Performance will be used between the two series when they are racing together to ensure the same performance window is available for all competitors.
For WEC, it has been decided that the maximum power has been brought down. Originally, it was going to be 585kW but the World Motorsport Council has brought it down to 500kW. Along with this, the minimum weight has been reduced from 1100kg to 1030kg, which should mean the reduction of power will not translate to too much reduction of speed. These changes will also make the cars more cost-effective for entrants of the cars.
For IMSA, the LMDh cars will be based on one of four chassis, similar to the current regulations for the DPis. All LMDhs will have a common rear hybrid system along with a standardised manufacturer-branded engine and stylised bodywork.