The announcement of the 2020/21 Hypercar regulations has rather settled the paddock at Le Mans, in one sense. At the press conference in France, the ACO and the FIA confirmed that the regulations as voted on by the FIA World Motorsport Council in December were largely written in stone, but that teams could bring a prototype hybrid, a prototype non-hybrid, a road car hybrid, and a road car non-hybrid, plus in year one they will also grandfather the current LMP1 cars that wish to race.
2020/21 HYPERCAR – BALANCE OF PERFORMANCE
The key to the 2020/21 Hypercar regulations will be the ability to performance balance the concepts. Some say that this can be done, and will be done or the whole concept will fail, others say that it cannot be done. Power, weight, aero and hybrid deployment will all be tightly regulated, put into performance windows, including the torque curve and power delivery from the hybrid before the cars are performance balanced. With a lap time of 3m30s at Le Mans, manufacturers are looking at a relatively inexpensive way to race in the FIA WEC.
The single tyre supplier rule has not been met well by either Dunlop or Michelin, both of which want teams to have the option and to have competition between the brands. However, in a BoP world, this is a variable that the organisers cannot accommodate.
The BoP will be automated, FIA President Jean Todt reportedly against the idea that an individual or a team of engineers could decide the outcome of the race. Few believe that the BoP will be perfect first time out, but that it has been possible in GT racing after years of work and that it now is successful.
- Find out what the Hypercar regulations really mean for WEC in our August issue!
The basics, as laid out by the FIA in its World Council decision on Friday, June 14, are that the 2020/21 Hypercar regulations are stable for five years, that the performance windows established and confirmed at the time of homologation will ensure cars have comparable performance levels, that the performance target at Le Mans in race conditions is 3m30s, there will be no fuel flow meters or Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) limitation. The production cars will need to meet the same safety standards as an LMP car, which could be problematic.
2020/21 HYPERCAR – TEAMS
The 2020/21 Hypercar regulations are now fixed with enough certainty that it allowed the manufacturers to make their decisions whether or not to commit. The engineers are awaiting a final version of the regulations before finalising final spec and final costs.
Aston Martin was the first to confirm that it will come with its Valkyrie to the top class. The car will be built and developed by Multimatic after the initial design was created by Adrian Newey at Red Bull Advanced Technologies. The production car is expected to run within the next month of Le Mans, at a Grand Prix, so likely in Britain at the end of July. It will likely not race with a hybrid system, and so will rely on its Cosworth-developed 6.5-litre V12 engine for propulsion.
Toyota was next to confirm its participation, with a race version of the GR Supersport that has already track tested with Kamui Kobayashi in Japan. The racing version of the car will be developed by TMG in Cologne, ensuring that there is continuity in their bid to build a legacy at Le Mans.