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WEC set to introduce minimum two car manufacturer Hypercar rule

Manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship are set to be required to enter two cars from next season.

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, leads at the start

Shameem Fahath

The new rule is under evaluation as part of a planned expansion of the WEC grid to a minimum of 40 cars from the current 37-strong field for 2025, Autosport has learned. 

It would remove the ability of a factory team to run a single car as Cadillac Racing has done since last season, Iron Lynx Lamborghini is doing this year and as the Heart of Racing Aston Martin squad has announced for next season. 

The rule preventing Hypercar manufacturers from running more than two factory cars would remain in place. 

Only at the Blue Riband Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round are more than two cars permissible, although additional entries do not score either manufacturers' or drivers' points.

The move would at least partially bring Hypercar in line with the new-for-2024 LMGT3 category, which mandates that each manufacturer is represented by a single two-car team. 

WEC promoter and co-organiser, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, has declined to comment on the prospect of a two-car rule, which looks almost certain to be implemented for the new season. 

News of the plan follows the admission from Chip Ganassi Racing earlier this month that its deal to run one-car factory programmes with the Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh in both WEC and the IMSA SportsCar Championship will come to an end at the conclusion of 2024.

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It is known that the General Motors brand’s negotiations with potential replacements for the WEC centre on a two-car operation. 

Iron Lynx has made no secret of its intent to step up to two Hypercar entries in the second season of the Lamborghini SC63 LMDh. 

Aston Martin announced plans to run a single Valkyrie Le Mans Hypercar in each of the WEC and the IMSA series in North America, but Heart of Racing left the door open to bigger presence in either or both series on the launch of the programme last October. 

Garagiste Isotta Fraschini has also talked openly about the prospect of running two cars, either a second Tipo 6 LMH Competizone run by the French Duqueine squad or an additional car by another team. 

Isotta had aspirations to be represented by two cars this year, one run by the British Vector Sport team and one by Duqueine.

It was only allowed by the WEC organisation to make a single entry as a result of constraints on the size of the grid and opted to go with Duqueine on financial grounds.

The new ruling could have implications on the independents in Hypercar, which compete in what is known as the FIA Endurance World Cup for Teams rather than scoring world championship manufacturers’ points. 

#63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63: Mirko Bortolotti, Edoardo Mortara, Daniil Kvyat

#63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63: Mirko Bortolotti, Edoardo Mortara, Daniil Kvyat

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Teams competing in the World Cup would, it is understood, not be subject to the two-car rule, but it could reduce space for privateer entries. 

On the presumption that the grid expands to no more than 40 cars and the WEC sticks with 18 cars in LMGT3, extra cars from Cadillac, Lamborghini and Isotta and a two-car Aston squad would leave only two grid spots for customer teams in what would be a 22-car Hypercar field.

This year there are four non-manufacturer entries in Hypercar: two Jota Porsche 963s and one of the German manufacturer’s LMDhs from Proton Competition, and then the solo AF Corse Ferrari 499P.

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