A new hypercar class was announced by the FIA for the 2020/21 World Endurance Championship season. The WEC’s rule makers, the FIA and series promoter ‘Automobile Club de l’Ouest’ initially proposed budgets of €25-€30 million ($28-$34.5 million) for the new racing class. However, thanks to a push back from the IMSA governing body in North America that refused to adopt the rules unless large cost cuts were made, FIA has decided to slash the budgets.
Motorsport reports that the FIA and the series promoter have agreed to a budget target of €20 million ($23 million) per season for a two-car factory team. Also, potential privateer entrants who purchase a car from a manufacturer or specialist constructor, who has shouldered the development costs will have a budget of €16 million ($18.4 million).
The lower budgets will result in reduced performance targets for the category. Maximum downforce and minimum drag numbers will be set. Organizers estimate that the vehicles will qualify at Le Mans in roughly 3 minutes and 24-25 seconds. By comparison, LMP1 prototypes lap roughly 10 seconds faster. According to WEC representatives, the latest generation of LMP2 car will have to be slowed to maintain a gap between the two prototype classes.
The authorities are also considering other measures to help achieve the €20 million figure, including restricting development where manufacturers won’t be allowed to continuously develop their designs through the life of the formula, which will initially run to the end of 2024/25 season.
Potential participants for the new hypercar class include Aston Martin, McLaren, Toyota and even Koenigsegg. Ford and Ferrari have reportedly backed out after being involved initially.