BMW joins discussions to shape WEC hypercar 2020/21 rules plans

BMW has joined the drive to create the hypercar concept class that will become the World Endurance Championship's top category for the 2020/21 season

BMW joins discussions to shape WEC hypercar 2020/21 rules plans

The German manufacturer, which entered the WEC in the GTE Pro class this season, has had a representative at the rule-writing technical working group sessions that have taken place since the framework for the hypercar concept was outlined during Le Mans 24 Hours week in June.

"We've been in the loop since the beginning, but started to actively take part after Le Mans in order to get a better understanding of the general direction of the project," BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt told Autosport.

"Our main intention in taking part is to get an idea of the further plans that are made by the technical working group, especially with regards to future technologies.

"This is our usual approach - as a company we, of course, want to stay informed about the developments in the most important motorsports series."

But BMW, the outright winner of the Le Mans in 1999, is making no commitment to a lower-cost category that will call for manufacturers to style their prototype machinery after hypercars, super-sportscars or show cars.

Marquardt said that the key factors for BMW in the discussion would be finding "the right balance between the three topics of road relevance, taking a pioneer's role and keeping the costs in a reasonable frame".

His use of the phrases "future technologies" and "pioneer's role" could be significant.

BMW has admitted its interest in racing hydrogen fuel cell technology and suggested that it should be possible to race a prototype at Le Mans powered by such a powerplant some time in the middle of the next decade.

Marquardt described fuel cells in motorsport as "long-haul technology" back in April and revealed that BMW was maintaining a dialogue on the subject with WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the FIA.

ACO president Pierre Fillon has outlined an ambition to see an emissions-free hydrogen car racing at Le Mans in 2024.

BMW has joined Toyota, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford and McLaren in the discussions on the hypercar concept rules.

Reports that Ferrari and Ford have not been present at the working group meets are erroneous.

Ferrari's position is that it "will not be leaving the table" until the rule-making process is complete, according to a spokesperson.

Ferrari said it was working with the FIA and the ACO "to find a cost-effective solution that in our opinion should allow the possibility to exploit to the maximum the synergy with road car design and technologies".

Ford was represented by Multimatic, which masterminds the Ford GT programme, at the latest meetings.

The regulations are due to be finalised by the beginning of December so they can be signed off by the final FIA World Motor Sport Council.

shares
comments
Manor no longer involved with Ginetta LMP1 team in WEC

Previous article

Manor no longer involved with Ginetta LMP1 team in WEC

Next article

WEC's 2019/20 Fuji round brought forward to avoid Japanese GP clash

WEC's 2019/20 Fuji round brought forward to avoid Japanese GP clash
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021
Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Plus

Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally

WEC
Aug 14, 2021