New rules could allow hypercar designs in top class World Endurance Championship

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

At a meeting held Thursday in Manila, the FIA discussed regulations to be introduced for the 2020 season of the World Endurance Champion including freeing up the design rules of the premier LMP1 class to allow automakers to enter cars resembling their road cars.

Referred to as a “hypercar concept,” the proposal specifically targets performance marques offering hypercar models, such as Aston Martin with the Valkyrie or McLaren with the Senna.

It could lead to race cars like the GT1-spec cars that competed last decade in the FIA GT Championship, such as the McLaren F1 GTR and Porsche 911 GT1. And it’s something Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has said he would be interested in.

“My personal perspective is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a prototype category because it has no relevance to us,” Palmer said in December. “But if they allowed racing derivatives of road cars, that would be very interesting to us and, I suspect, the fans.”

The FIA also discussed drastically reducing costs in the LMP1 class in order to lure in more teams and improve the competition. The key proposal being discussed is a targeted budget of one quarter the current LMP1 budgets. The LMP1 class of the current 2018/2019 season of the WEC has Toyota as the sole manufacturer, along with a handful of private teams.

At the meeting, the FIA also approved a plan to encourage more female drivers to join the WEC.

More details on the various plans either proposed or approved by the FIA are expected to be revealed at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans which runs the weekend starting June 16. Stay tuned.

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