A new class of motor racing cars would be common to Daytona, Le Mans, Sebring
The North American International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) of France have announced that they have agree on a common first class eligible for both contests. The potential and potentially huge reward for manufacturers would be the ability to build a single car to compete in all of the biggest sports car races in the world – Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in particular – just as we saw in the Oscar nominee”Ford versus FerrariThe new top class is called LMDh, which is believed to stand for Le Mans Daytona Hybrid, but no organizing body has yet clarified this. The World Endurance Championship will inaugurate the new class in the 2021-22 Championship season. World Endurance Championship, potentially alongside the recently born hypercar class. LMDh begins with IMSA at the start of the 2022 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, taking over from Daytona Prototypes (DPi) as the top class.
For now what we do know is that the LMDh entries will be based on specific LMP2 chassis built by one of the four current LMP2 chassis suppliers, Multimatic (Canada), Dallara (Italy), Ligier and Oreca (both in France). A common Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) unit that recovers braking energy will be installed on the rear axle, providing 50 to 60 horsepower. The manufacturers will supply their own engines and will be free to create bodies within the framework of the regulations. The same chassis will also be used for the WECs new LMP2 class from 2022, but it’s a spec chassis with a fixed engine spec. More details on the LMDh rules will come in March during SuperSebring weekend, when we expect to get a feel for engine options and power targets.
Most of the regulations are said to be from IMSA planning for what used to be called DPi 2.0, launched in 2022. IMSA, which currently has Acura, Cadillac and Mazda in the premier class, got feedback from a pool of OEMs on DPi 2.0, but OEMs need a lot more answers before committing LMDh entries. Pascal Zurlinden, head of factory racing at Porsche, said the company would “just (closely) look at the costs. If you can really build a car for the locals and race (worldwide), that’s definitely an option. We’ll have to take a look at it.” McLaren likes the idea, but Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said budget was the problem. “If we can see a business model that works, we’ll get in.” The Woking manufacturer is reportedly using a “hybrid resembling a McLaren Automotive product that doesn’t yet exist” primarily in the WEC, with some IMSA visits.
Ford was evasive, but the Dearborn automaker reportedly insisted on hybrid inclusion as a sine qua non for participation. Lexus and Lamborghini have also made noise about finding a World Series that could justify an investment.
The road to LMDh is strewn with questions. What’s important among them is what’s happening to the WEC’s Hypercar class. With incompatible technical regulations between Hypercar and LMDh, there is suggestions a Balance of Power formula could allow the two classes to work together, but that’s speculation. Toyota has committed to Hypercar and said it plans to stay in Hypercar even after LMDh’s announcement because it wants to develop its own hybrid system, which LMDh will not allow. A Toyota representative said: “We want the opportunity to improve our road-tuned hybrid technology in the WEC, and we welcome the opportunity to test our technology against even more manufacturers.”
However, it’s unclear whether Hypercar will get more involvement from the manufacturer. Aston Martin has signed up for Hypercar, but the English automaker has so much to focus on right now that we can’t be sure it will make the grid as an OEM entry. Glickenhaus and ByKolles also joined, but it won’t be fair to compare them to OEM efforts. As runner Put the, “Hypercar’s opening season would feature a giant Japanese manufacturer, a small but historic British brand, a tiny American brand that wasn’t sure it would be there in the first rounds, and Germanic vaporware .” Peugeot was a recent Hypercar-class signatory, partnering with Oreca for entry from 2022, but is said to be considering a move to LMDh.
We really want to know what an LMDh car will look like. Part of the promise of the Hypercar series – and the real thrill of the IMSA and WEC GT classes – is watching very different cars with very different power plants competing together. Further down the order, the Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche endurance racing paddocks bring together passionate fans who make visual and personal connections with the GT hardware that parades on the track. runner noted“Manufacturers will be encouraged to incorporate more easily identifiable styling cues into their LMDh models.”
Either way, manufacturers have been looking for a common global series for years to help them harmonize and maximize their investments and sponsorships. At least one winning team is already relishing the prospect of the LMDh: Wayne Taylor, whose Wayne Taylor Racing just won the 24 Rolexes at Daytona for the third time in four years, Recount Sports car365 he wants to take a team to Le Mans. “If we can continue to show that we can consistently win those long-distance races, then I think that’s what the manufacturers want,” he said. “Also, I have corporate partners who have already said to me ‘Wayne, we are a global brand, we love Le Mans’ and want to race in other markets.” Naturally, he already thinks that “One way or another, we’re going to have to get Cadillac and GM to focus on that.”
Comments are closed.