FIA Decides on Hypercar-Like WEC Prototypes for 2020/21
The revival of GTP-esque action looks to be on its way.
At the 2018 World Motor Sport Council in the Philippines, FIA officials made progressive decisions that will affect the upcoming generation of prototype racers. In efforts to reduce costs and attract more entrants to the World Endurance Championship's top category, manufacturers will be able to build machines based on "hypercar concept" designs starting in 2020/21.
As a WMSC statement details, the new regulations are targeted towards cutting expenses to one-quarter of the current LMP1 budget. Additionally, the freedom to manufacture racing prototypes that resemble road cars is widely viewed as a positive for prospective companies that may possibly join the series in the future.
While expenditures are aimed to be kept to a minimum, the goal is to maintain the same level of performance as contemporary LMP1 cars. Resultingly, less-sophisticated hybrid systems are expected to be implemented to promote parity between competitors while spec energy recovery systems are anticipated as well. More details will be announced when the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, who designed these rules alongside the FIA, meets ahead of this month's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
According to various reports, manufacturers that were present at the WMSC include Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, McLaren, and Toyota.
Along with the prototype decision, board members also discussed ways to "encourage the participation of more female drivers in the WEC." Female drivers have been competing at Le Mans since the 1930s, and as part of the FIA's proposed initiative, they'll be looking for more ways to draw interest like IndyCar and IMSA have done in recent years.