FIA and ACO issue lower budget target for WEC's new hypercar class

The cost of entering the World Endurance Championship's new hypercar concept prototype class in 2020/21 will be lower than first announced

FIA and ACO issue lower budget target for WEC's new hypercar class

The rulemakers, the FIA and series promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, have come up with a revised budget target of €20million a season for a two-car factory team.

This is down from the €25-€30m announced when the broad framework of the new top class of the WEC was announced ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours round in June.

The lower figure has come out of the technical working group meetings tasked with writing the rulebook since June.

It was revealed in a prospectus, which includes stylised renderings of how the cars might look, sent out last week to manufacturers to try to entice them to join a category that calls for prototypes styled after high-performance sportcars or concept cars.

The reduction also follows the suggestion from the IMSA governing body in North America that it would be unwilling to adopt the rules unless the costs were significantly lower.

The €20m figure includes a proportion of the design and development cost of a hypercar concept prototype.

It is based on the amelioration of the development over the five-year lifespan of the formula.

The prospectus also includes a €16m figure for a privateer buying a car from a manufacturer or a specialist constructor that has shouldered the development costs.

The rulemakers and the WEC have yet to comment on the new figures, but it is understood that they believe they can achieve it by lowering the performance targets for the category.

It was announced at Le Mans that the new single-hybrid prototypes would be capable of qualifying at Le Mans in 3m20s, around five seconds down on Kamui Kobayashi's record pole position lap for Toyota in 2017.

It is now envisaged that the cars will be qualify at Le Mans in the 3m24-25s region.

The new rules are based on the principle of setting performance targets for each area of the car that cannot be exceeded: there will, for example, be maximum downforce and minimum drag numbers prescribed in the rules.

By making these more easily obtainable, the FIA and the ACO believe that the cost of entry can be reduced.

They have consistently stressed that there will be nothing to prevent manufacturers from spending more, but the strict prescriptions of the regulations will prevent them from gaining an advantage by doing so.

Other measures to help achieve the €20m figure include strict limitations on development.

Manufacturers and constructors will not be allowed to continuously develop their designs through the life of the formula, which will initially run to the end of 2024/25 season.

Upgrades of the homologated design will only be allowed between seasons in the name of safety and reliability unless a performance upgrade is required to make a car competitive.

One new homologation will be allowed during the five years, as well as styling changes between seasons.

No testing will be allowed during the non-European leg of the championship from October through to March, and only 10 days in total will be permitted.

One of the key tenets of the hypercar rules on their announcement in June was the requirement of manufacturers to make their front-axle hybrid systems available to other competitors at what was described as a reasonable cost.

A €2m lease figure for a two-car team has now be laid down.

WEC representatives have conceded that the revised level of performance for hypercar prototypes will mean that the latest generation of LMP2 car will have to be slowed to maintain a gap between the two prototype classes.

The final rules are due to go before the Endurance Commission early in November before being presented for signing off at the final FIA World Motor Sport Council of the year on December 5.

shares
comments
Calado: Likely GTE Pro 1-2 finish at Fuji 'taken away' from Ferrari

Previous article

Calado: Likely GTE Pro 1-2 finish at Fuji 'taken away' from Ferrari

Next article

Alonso's Toyota defence doesn't match reality

Alonso's Toyota defence doesn't match reality
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
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