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Re: FIA Confirms ‘Hypercar’ Design Concept for New Prototype Class

Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Latest post of the previous page:

WEC
Hypercar Regulations Confirmed

FIA, ACO confirms revised details of Hypercar regulations for 2020-21 season…


The FIA and ACO have confirmed the technical regulations for the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will feature prototype and production-based hypercars in slightly revised configurations than initially announced.

The still-yet-to-be-named category, which the ACO has dubbed ‘Le Mans Prototype Hypercar’ will feature cars of different “origins” according to FIA Endurance Committee President Richard Mille.

A minimum weight of 1100 kg has been established, with a powertrain average of 750 horsepower and the optional use of hybrid powertrains, as previously reported by Sportscar365.

A 200 kW hybrid system can be utilized on the front axle only for a prototype although must be in the same location as its road-going counterpart for production-based models.

Hybrid systems will be managed by “deployment thresholds” and be activated at speeds above 120 km/h in dry conditions. Deployment for wet weather has not yet been defined but is expected to be within the 140-160 km/h range, according to ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil.

Bespoke or modified hypercar engines will be permitted for the prototypes, while production-based powerplants must be used for the road-going hypercars.

The target Le Mans lap time will be 3:30 in “average” race conditions, down from the initial projection for the platform initially announced last year, which had been entirely prototype-based.

Balance of Performance will be utilized between the different hypercar platforms and can be adjusted throughout the season.

For manufacturers utilizing road-based hypercars, a minimum of 20 units must be produced over a two-year period and safety structures will be based on the road-going designs.

Beaumesnil said that two sets of technical guidelines, prototype and road car, will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council today for approval, with the intention of having a single set of regulations at a later date.

LMP1 non-hybrids, meanwhile, will be grandfathered in for the 2020-21 season, Beaumesnil confirmed.

The confirmation of the Hypercar regs comes one year after the initial Hypercar concept was revealed at Le Mans and initially confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December, as a prototype-based formula only.

Production-based hypercars were then added to the eligibility in March, in a bid to attract additional manufacturers including Aston Martin and McLaren, while further tweaks to the regulations were made last month.

While considerations were made for both the so-called GTE-Plus concept of upstaged production-based cars as well as IMSA’s current DPi platform, neither have been embraced under the revised regulations.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Toyota joins Hypercar class in WEC

Toyota Gazoo Racing has confirmed it will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship after next season in the new top class ‘Le Mans Hypercar Prototype’ category which will kick in for the 2020/21 season, confirmed today by the ACO at its annual Le Mans press conference.

The announcement means the Japanese marque will continue to race in International prototype racing, extending its program which began back in 2012, during the inaugural FIA WEC season.

With Toyota and Aston Martin (announced earlier today) on board, the new ‘Hypercar Prototype’ regulations have attracted two major manufacturers for Year 1 of the ruleset, which includes the 2021 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Toyota team will enter a racing version of the GR Super Sports Concept into the top FIA WEC category. Driver Kamui Kobayashi is among those working directly on the development of the car, a road-going version of which was shown at the conference in a video, running at Fuji Speedway.

Track testing of the new race car, the name of which will be revealed at a later date, will begin next year prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season while further details of the GR Super Sport road car will be issued by Toyota Gazoo Racing in due course.

“I am pleased to confirm that Toyota Gazoo Racing will continue its challenge in endurance racing beyond the current regulations,” Shigeki Tomoyama, Gazoo Racing president, said. “Thank you to the ACO and FIA for their hard work in finalizing these regulations, which we hope will bring about a new golden age of endurance racing, with several manufacturers fighting for Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“For Toyota Gazoo Racing, this new era of competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our credentials not only as a race team against some of the best in the business, but also as a sports car manufacturer. I am sure I join fans and competitors in welcoming the new regulations and looking forward to an exciting era of competition in WEC and at Le Mans.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

IMSA reacts to ACO/FIA Hypercars announcement

IMSA will continue doing its own thing with prototypes. Europe’s ACO and FIA World Endurance Championship will do theirs. And, for the better part of the next decade, an alignment between top prototype formulas will not be possible as different visions play out between Hypercars and Daytona Prototype internationals.

IMSA and its North American WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will stay the much less expensive course with its DPis that are due for a regulatory refresh in 2022. The ACO/FIA WEC, finally committed to the Hypercar formula due in 2020 that wavered endlessly over the last 12 months, will replace its LMP1 prototypes with road-styled prototypes. These will not require the nine-figure budgets once spent by Audi, Porsche, and Toyota, but will still cost multiples — upwards of five times as much — of what some annual DPi budgets run today.

The unfortunate news, confirmed on Friday at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, means both sides will win on local levels, but fans and manufacturers who were hoping for a unified prototype approach across the three sanctioning bodies must look well into the future for DPis to race at Le Mans and Hypercars to play in IMSA.

Separate visions, priced in different stratospheres, account for the dividing line. A united trio, using IMSA’s DPi rules as the common ground, was actively discussed between the ACO, FIA WEC, and IMSA, and looked like it had a real chance of happening as the Hypercar concept withered on the vine.

Only the very recent decision by Aston Martin to build a Valkyrie Hypercar, added to Toyota’s general commitment to Hypercar, rescued the formula. Sprinkle in the stated intent of Jim Glickenhaus to bring his SCG 007 model to Hypercar, and the overnight news of privateer LMP1 constructor ByKolles wanting to build a Hypercar, and the pair of French racing organizations now have enough manufacturers to support the new regulations.

The news leaves IMSA to carry on with writing its DPi 2.0 rules for 2022 without much need to keep the French sanctioning bodies in mind.

“None of today’s announcements were a surprise,” IMSA president Scott Atherton told RACER. “I guess that’s the good news. We’ve been actively in dialogue with the ACO throughout the process, but most especially in recent times, the last 30 days or so. We’re of the opinion that the announcements today were only made possible by some very recent developments. And that’s good for them. They had announced these regulations months ago, but until someone steps forward and says, ‘We’re in,’ they’re not of much worth. There’s not a lot of value unless you get manufacturer involvement, team involvement.

“As far as what it means to IMSA, too early to tell for certain. Many more questions than there are answers as we speak. We had, as recently as yesterday, some open, candid dialogue about what the potential future could be, specific to their announcements today and what everyone — at least everyone who follows our sport — is aware that we’re in the process of defining the next generation DPi regulations. Whether or not there’s a future there — whether or not these two platforms can coexist — time will tell.

“And I guess we can only leave it at that for today.”

In reading some of the comments made by members of the ACO/FIA WEC leadership following the most recent meeting, it was challenging to find anything that qualified as a genuine interest in having DPi 2.0s and Hypercars compete in the same race. The apparent disparity will not slow or deter IMSA from charting its domestic course with DPi 2.0.

“We had what we felt were good dialogue recently that would have at least confirmed the collective, mutual goal of enabling the two platforms to work together. As you and I speak at this moment, we shouldn’t speculate whether or not that’s a viable option or not,” Atherton added.

“I am of the opinion that when two genuine organizations have a common goal, admittedly surrounded by a lot of variables, a lot of moving parts, but when you get really smart people working together towards a common goal, it’s often that good results come from that. Whether or not that ultimately is reflected in the process to come is anyone’s guess right now. I know what we are capable of, but we are not certain of what the ACO’s intentions are.”

IMSA recently held its latest DPi 2.0 steering committee meeting where nine auto manufacturers — including the four currently involved in DPi — met to shape the 2022 rules. During that early May gathering, the likelihood of a unified DPi 2.0 formula for the ACO/FIA WEC and IMSA was strong. Part of the interest, we can assume, came from the possibility of building to a single prototype formula, at an exceptionally reasonable price, that could be raced un the U.S., in France at Le Mans, and all the other international WEC rounds.

In losing that option, the feedback received from some manufacturers on Friday was not pleasant. Whether it leads to some brands losing interest in DPi 2.0, or Hypercar, or both, will be known in the coming years.

“I’ve only had a couple of contacts today,” Atherton said. “It’s been a very busy day and the two that stand out were very similar in their reactions to today’s news, and that was just one of disappointment. Again, I don’t think it was a surprise, but the fact that it now is official, it’s public, it’s out in the open, so to speak. They expressed disappointment because they realized we genuinely had an opportunity for that global solution that would’ve been a catalyst for unprecedented growth and participation within the highest level of endurance sports car racing.

“Again, it doesn’t change anything from our perspective. We’ve been following a very well-organized, very comprehensive development process to define our next generation regulations. I’m very proud of the job that Simon Hodgson and his team are doing. It’s something that I think is a benchmark example of how a sanctioning body interacts with not only existing partners, but those that have expressed an interest in future participation.

“To arrive at a set of regulations that will be reflective of what’s needed to stay relevant, to deliver a platform that’s surrounded by a value proposition that makes sense for manufacturers and independent teams as well — our goal here is not to create a platform that’s exclusively a manufacturer environment, but support and reflect exactly what we have today, albeit in a more relevant specification, especially knowing that these regulations will carry us through 2027.”

Where the ACO/FIA WEC let indecision erode faith in Hypercar until Friday’s re-confirmation, IMSA does not want to let DPi 2.0 fall into the same cycle of delays with actionable regulations.

“Our self-imposed deadline is the end of this year. So, the end of December, for a set of draft regulations,” he said. “And when we use the term ‘draft regulations’, that doesn’t mean first draft. That means arguably final draft, but subject to minor adjustment based on final input, feedback, etc. But we’re on schedule to hit that mark.

“It would give not only the sanctioning body IMSA, but all of the participants, the appropriate runway to develop in a very reasonable schedule. Nobody’s going to have to perform miracles to achieve the goal of having a full grid of fully sorted, tested, developed, reliable prototypes on the grid at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January of 2022. So when you work backwards from that date, while nobody has got their hair on fire, it’s also none too early to be zeroing in on those details.”

Behind the scenes, making calls on the power of DPi 2.0’s hybrid-electric energy assistance system and other core details will dominate the rest of IMSA’s season. Sticking with Dallara, Ligier, ORECA, and Multimatic as DPi chassis suppliers appears to be a formality.

“A wonderful process is underway,” Atherton continued. “We know what we don’t know in terms of our in-house abilities. So we’ve gone outside to several industry experts — consultants — in hybridization, in packaging, aerodynamics, etc., to make sure that what has made the DPi platform successful today is retained. I can easily say that the next generation car will have a hybrid. The only question is, ‘What definition?’

“The next generation we’ll continue to embrace the four constructors that we have. We believe that’s the secret sauce that makes this platform so effective. Not requiring participating manufacturers to design and build a bespoke chassis, but to instead to utilize an existing platform in the form of the LMP2. So that’s a work-in-progress very much. It’s priority one right now from our competition team with the goal of having those regulations out by the end of the year.”

IMSA tried to create an inclusionary rules process with its friends across the Atlantic. It was ultimately rejected. Time to refocus on what’s best for the WeatherTech Championship.
https://racer.com/2019/06/14/imsa-react ... ouncement/
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Neveu Hopeful of Hypercar, DPi 2.0 Crossover for 2022

FIA WEC boss Gerard Neveu targeting Hypercar, DPi 2.0 to race together in 2022…


FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu says he holds a common vision with IMSA President Scott Atherton of having its two top categories race together in the future, revealing that an active effort is underway between the ACO and IMSA technical departments to seek similar performance targets between Hypercar and DPi 2.0.

While having gone separate ways on its new top-class regulations, Neveu has suggested that the cars from WEC’s Hypercar formula could be mixed in with IMSA’s yet-to-be-finalized DPi 2.0 regulations by as early as the launch of IMSA’s next-generation ruleset in 2022.

The development comes following Atherton’s comments to Sportscar365 last month that he could see the two platforms race in “coexistence” in the future.

“At this moment, clearly, at the steering committee, all the top level management asked to the technical departments from the ACO and IMSA to work on it, investigate it seriously [on] how we can be sure that we have a chance to race DPi 2.0 and Hypercar together,” Neveu told Sportscar365.

“To do that, we have to share in advance all the information regarding the evolution of the respective technical regulations.

“We don’t say that it will be easy or 100 percent sure because they have to make a demonstration that this is possible. But clearly from both sides, the instruction is, ‘Work on it and try to make it happen.'”

While the FIA and ACO have finalized its new-for-2020 Hypercar regulations, which will see both prototype and road-going-based hypercars with optional hybrid systems, IMSA is still in steering group meetings to define its next-gen platform that will debut in 2022.

An evolution of its current LMP2-based formula, with the addition of a spec high-voltage hybrid system, appears to be the favored option for IMSA’s so-called DPi 2.0, although performance figures have not yet been disclosed.

When asked if mixed-platform races could happen by as early as 2022, Neveu voiced his optimism.

“That’s the plan. It has to work when [DPi 2.0] arrives, for sure,” he said.

“If they work together, it’s better than if they work from on their respective side and then they try to rejoin. They have to work together and share all the information they have [to achieve similar performance levels].

“I hope Thierry Bouvet [ACO technical director] and Simon [Hodgson, IMSA VP of Competition] and Vincent [Beaumesnil, ACO sporting director], can share a lot of things together.

“We are sharing the same passion and interests for the sports car [racing world].

“If you say Le Mans, Sebring, Daytona… Those are the names that ring very strongly. Clearly it’s our responsibility to try and manage that.”


Strong Relationship With IMSA is “Crucial” for ACO


Neveu stressed his desire for the ACO to expand their relationship with IMSA, following its long-standing technical partnership and recent successful “Super Sebring” event, which will return in 2020.

“We strongly believe in this partnership between ACO and IMSA and these two major structures,” he said. “I think it makes sense to find some place where we can do many things together.

“We think that a very strong relationship between us is crucial.

“The two top stages in the world for sports car [racing] is the U.S. and Le Mans. We know very well, and Sebring was a perfect demonstration of that, when we have this capacity as managers to set up a parallel program together with common interests, its a bigger value for all the people interested by sports cars.

“Clearly, and I can speak for Pierre Fillon, he is sharing the same point of view. The relationship with IMSA for us is something very important.”

Neveu explained that a steering committee has been established between himself, Atherton, ACO President Pierre Fillon, IMSA chairman Jim France and IMSA CEO Ed Bennett, where they regularly discuss ways of “increasing” the partnership.

“This is a historic relationship and this is probably the future [of sports car racing]. This is what I believe,” Neveu said.

“IMSA manages sports car [racing] very well in North America, no question about that. This is a very good championship with a very good organization.

“I think WEC is doing its part of the job in other parts of the world, and Le Mans is Le Mans. We have to maintain this very close relationship.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

WeatherTech Championship
IMSA Confirms DPi 2022 Timeline

IMSA provides update on progress of next-generation DPi regulations…


IMSA has confirmed the timeline for the development of its DPi 2022 platform, which will see the technical regulations released by the first quarter of next year.

Revealed during Friday evening’s ‘State of the Series’ address at Road America, IMSA President Scott Atherton outlined the current progress in the evolution of the new regs that will serve as the successor to the current DPi formula beginning in 2022.

With the initial feasibility studies and wind tunnel model testing already complete, IMSA is set to begin the tender process for the spec hybrid system.

Atherton said they’ve had discussions with between 10-11 hybrid manufacturers although would not confirm the intended specification, which is understood by Sportscar365 to be a high-voltage system.

“I don’t want to confirm any of the technical details,” Atherton told Sportscar365. “That’s not yet part of our [public] discussion.

“That will come out when the regulations are released.”

While confirming a deadline of Q1 2020, two years prior to the platform’s planned debut in the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Atherton indicated the regulations could be finalized even sooner.

It comes in contrast to the FIA World Endurance Championship, which just last month confirmed its Hypercar regulations for the 2020-21 season.

“The sooner the better,” Atherton said on confirming its DPi 2022 regs. “There’s no benefit to delaying. As soon as they’re ready, we’ll go public.”

The timeline, meanwhile, calls for on-track testing to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

The second-generation DPi platform will feature “increased styling freedoms” compared to the current platform that will provide “enhanced” production car relevance for OEMs.

Multiple engine configurations will continue to be permitted, while alternative fuels, as part of IMSA Green, could be introduced in the future.

While not confirmed, it’s understood the platform will continue to be LMP2-based with the current four constructors.

Atherton said there are currently nine manufacturers involved in steering committee meetings in helping shape the regulations that will be in effect for at least five seasons.

“IMSA prides itself on being as transparent as it can be,” he said. “It’s not always an option given the business that we’re in.

“But to have people aware of when to expect the next steps in the process… credit where credit’s due, it all goes to Simon [Hodgson], Matt [Kurdock] and his team.

“I’ve heard unsolicited comments from many of the manufacturers that are involved with us, that this is a new benchmark of process, thoroughness and communication.

“All of these things are important when you’re defining the next generation of anything.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Bentley Monitoring Hypercar Developments

Bentley monitoring Hypercar developments, ambitions of Le Mans return…

Bentley has emerged as the latest manufacturer to be monitoring developments on the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class that’s set to come online next year.

The British manufacturer, which last competed in top-level prototype competition in 2003 (pictured above), has laid out ambitions of returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the FIA and ACO’s new formula being a potential gateway back to the French endurance classic.

According to Bentley Motorsport director Paul Williams, evaluations are underway on a potential Hypercar program for the Crewe-based manufacturer.

“Everyone is interested in the new Le Mans rules that gives the ability to run both the prototype and road-based car. It’s very interesting,” Williams told Sportscar365.

“I think you can see everybody standing back and watching what everybody else is doing at the moment.

“You can see it in McLaren, you can see it in others as well. We have to see where it goes.

“Two [manufacturers] have jumped immediately and everybody else is like, ‘Let’s see what happens over the next weeks.’

“Of course with Bentley’s history at Le Mans and their background, it’s always super interesting for us. Having a Balance of Performance structure like that makes it very interesting for us to do something.

“We’re talking about it, thinking about it, but no firm plans yet.”

Williams, the former powertrain director who took over as motorsports boss on Aug. 1 following Brian Gush’s retirement, said there’s been interest within the company to produce a hypercar for the road, although admits a potential race project would likely be prototype-based.

“It’s interesting for me coming from the road car side, the interest in doing a hypercar is always there, from my previous job,” he said.

“But at the moment, I’d say a prototype side is probably more interesting to us.

“The opportunity to do something as a road-based car is also interesting for customers. You’re seeing more and more customers interested in these top-end, very unique vehicles.”

Bentley is one of several Volkswagen-owned manufacturers to have been evaluating Hypercar efforts, including Lamborghini and Porsche, although none are expected in the short term.

When asked about the levels of approval needed to green-light a top-level factory sports car racing program, Williams explained it as “complex” but indicated that multiple Volkswagen Group manufacturers could be allowed to compete in the same class.

“Internal competition is liked,” he said. “So having us racing against Lamborghini, Porsche, which are all part of the group, is not a bad thing. It is a big benefit.

“The fact is that our type of customers are very different to Lamborghini’s customers. The type of person who would buy a Bentley would be quite different.

“There’s a big brand affinity into who the purchaser is.

“As a brand, we outsell Lambo, we outsell Ferrari, we outsell McLaren so we have a lot of customers out there who buy into the brand.”

Williams admitted the “big question” is the lede time needed for manufacturers to commit and develop a car to the new regulations.

So far, only Toyota and Aston Martin have been confirmed for the 2020-2, with no other OEM likely for the launch season, according to WEC CEO Gerard Neveu.

“The lede time for the first season is really short now,” Williams said. “Even for people like Aston it’s hard to do unless you have a stable prototype that you can re-skin and carry on. You’re in a hard box already.

“I think it’s more likely you’ll see people coming in a season or two later.

“We have no fixed plans at the moment but we’re studying it and we’d be crazy if we weren’t.

“[Le Mans] is part of our history. So from a brand perspective, you talk to everyone at the factory, from engineering to logistics, you name it, everybody has this engagement with motorsports within this company.

“It’s probably the question I get most back at the factory. ‘Are we going to Le Mans again?’ They really feel that engagement.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Brabham Considering Hypercar Despite Initial GTE Plans

Brabham opening up possibilities for BT62 beyond initial GTE intentions; Hypercar in view…

Brabham Automotive could make its 24 Hours of Le Mans return in the Hypercar class, with its BT62 currently “more aligned” to the future top-class formula than to GTE.

The Adelaide-based company initially revealed plans to run a car in GTE-Pro for its planned Le Mans entry in 2022, but has since opened up the possibility of challenging for outright victories in Hypercar.

Commercial director Dan Marks says that Brabham will follow developments in both categories and continue work on its existing BT62 and future cars to help decide which class, and what car, it uses for its ultimate goal of Le Mans.

The BT62 took to the track at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Thursday as part of a joint event with Goodyear, following the announcement of the two companies’ rekindled partnership earlier in the day.

“We’re currently assessing whether GTE or Hypercar are appropriate for the business, as we move forward, and watching what the final Hypercar regulations are going to be,” Marks told Sportscar365.

“The Hypercar regulations have been designed for cars like the BT62 so, conceptually, it makes sense for us to have a look at that but that’s part of our review process as we move forward.”

Marks says the BT62, in its current form as a track-focused car with an optional kit to make it road legal, is closer to Hypercar regulations than GTE,

“Subject to what the regulations, say, there obviously needs to be engineering changes [to make it fully compliant to either category],” he said.

“We’ve surmised, based on what we’ve read, that this is more aligned to Hypercar than GTE at the moment.”

Homologation requirements will also impact Brabham’s final direction, but Marks says they aren’t currently too concerned by different regulations, which could easily change in the future.

“We’re looking at [homologation] regulations now and where it fits in,” he explained.

“It may dictate where we go, in terms of what the rules and regulations are. They change all the time.

“The numbers used to be higher, and if we get to a number of road-compliant conversions, they’re road cars and they qualify, so it may open up different doors in terms of where we race.”

For now, a Le Mans entry in 2022 remains the ultimate plan, as part of a full-season FIA World Endurance Championship program in 2021-22, although further details including what class and car are still yet to be ironed out.

Brands Hatch Race Debut the “Next Step” Towards Le Mans Aim

The BT62’s race debut in November’s Britcar ‘Into the Night’ race at Brands Hatch, also announced on Thursday, will be followed by further race outings in 2020.

“Going racing at Brands Hatch in an invitational race is the next step on our journey to Le Mans,” Marks said.

“For 2020, we’re currently looking what it looks like so we’re assessing where we take the car next, and whether that’s with potential customers in the car or more professional drivers, and whether we start to integrate that into a customer racing program.

“I think we’ll look at different geographies as well, we’ll look at where there’s an appetite to have a BT62 at, and whether we can start to do a bit of a world tour of showing what this car can do on different tracks around the world.”

Marks says they are “looking at” options in VLN and Creventic’s 24H Series, which already cater to non-homologated cars with classes such as SPX.

“Some customers have said that they wouldn’t mind racing in one or more of those series in a BT62,” he confirmed.

“I think we’d take maybe to do a two, or a four, or a six-hour, rather than jump straight to a 24-hour. We’ll be sensible in the way that we do it; we won’t necessarily jump right to the end.

“We’ll take those methodical steps to go where we need to go to.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

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Post by John » 1 year ago

*pants* Some of these hypercar concepts look awesome. I hope it'll work out. I'd love to see these cars on TV.
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

I wouldnt mind one of them in my driveway!

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Post by erwin greven » 11 months ago

ACO Continuing Dialogue on Potential DPi 2022 Adoption

DPi 2022 integration talks continue for potential global prototype platform…


The ACO hasn’t given hopes of a possible unified prototype platform with IMSA, with talks on the potential integration of DPi 2022 into the FIA World Endurance Championship having continued.

This comes despite the FIA’s recent confirmation of the Hypercar regulations, which will comprise of prototype-based hypercars and road-going hypercars competing in the yet-to-be-named category in the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Sportscar365 has learned that multiple manufacturers have continued to place pressure on the FIA and ACO for the adoption of IMSA’s new-for-2022 platform, amid only two manufacturers so far committed to Hypercar.

While European reports have indicated that discussions have recently intensified, WEC CEO Gerard Neveu downplayed that anything has changed in recent months.

“Is it correct that there’s still discussions? The discussion has never stopped,” Neveu told Sportscar365.

“Yes, some people got confused by the publication of the regulations by the FIA but it hasn’t changed anything.

“There’s still discussions between the two structures and we sincerely hope to see when the DPi 2.0 will arrive in 2022, to have the possibility to put them racing together and to propose a common platform.

“What I’ve said in July hasn’t changed.”

Neveu was in attendance at last weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans for the first time since 2011, although the Frenchman said he was not there for meetings specific to potential DPi 2022 integration, but to instead pay tribute to longtime IMSA President Scott Atherton, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Manufacturers Support Global DPi 2022 Platform

Representatives from BMW, Ford, GM and Porsche have all largely supported such a move that would enable the same cars to compete for overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Ford is understood to be one of the leading protagonists, with a commitment to DPi 2022 believed to be contingent on the platform also being eligible at Le Mans.

“To me, what’s always been our principles, that is very important to us,” Ford Performance motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook told Sportscar365.

“If you look at what the Hypercar rules are and what DPi is, there’s the potential to create some compatibility there to be able to compete against each other.

“But it takes a focused technical effort to make that happen.”

Porsche, which exited Hypercar and DPi 2022 discussions in July, is understood to be in a position to reconsider an entry should a global platform be established.

The German manufacturer had proposed a common powertrain between its possible DPi and Hypercar projects earlier this year, although those discussions are understood to have been put on hold.

“At the end, I think a global platform where you can develop one car for two championships is always more cost-effective,” Porsche director of factory motorsports Pascal Zurlinden told Sportscar365.

GM racing director Mark Kent, meanwhile, hasn’t hidden his desire to see Cadillac returning to Le Mans in a potential top-class situation.

“If we had the opportunity to go global and run the Cadillac DPi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we would really welcome that opportunity,” Kent told Sportscar365.

Sportscar365 understands that Lamborghini and McLaren are among other manufacturers that could be in a position to commit to the platform should DPi 2022 be extended globally.

“I think it’s a decision, at the end of the day, that the ACO has to take,” BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt told Sportscar365.

“My personal opinion, just in general, is that it’s always stronger the more you are aligned and the more application of certain regulations you have.

“To strengthen the whole thing by having this whole co-operation intensified again, because it’s not very intense at the moment, can only help the ACO.”

IMSA is expected to finalize its set of regulations by the end of the year, with it likely to be presented during January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
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Post by erwin greven » 11 months ago

Hypercar/ DPi 2.0/ Class One – And All That
What progress in future-proofing top class endurance racing?

Image



We’re in the midst of one of the now regular feeding frenzies of stories doing the rounds about the current state of play with the top echelons of endurance racing.

HyperCar



The continuing saga of ‘Hypercar’ and its knock-on effects further down the feeding chain rumbles along.

Toyota are plugging away with the development of the race version of the road going GR Concept, the road car’s prototype already seen testing earlier this year, the race version some little way behind but seemingly on track for a post Le Mans 2020 trek debut – very, very tight indeed for the start of the 2020/21 FIA WEC season.

Aston Martin’s Valkyrie project has been quiet of late – hopefully to allow progress since the ‘dynamic’ debut of the car at Silverstone, a much needed confidence boost in the programme, but with much to do in the background before the first cars are handed over to their owners, promised in just a few week’s time.

Beyond that there’s the race car project, in the hands of the extremely able Multimatic organisation – the good news confirmed some weeks ago is that “More than two” announced at the projects launch at Le Mans has been clarified as “at least four” race cars set for a full WEC commitment, with R-Motorsport joining the factory effort in planning to field a pair apiece. 

Paddock rumours that it could even be more than four have been talked down by senior sources, perhaps mindful that the deadline to get cars on track is challenging enough with the current commitments.


The Glickenhaus programme continues meanwhile, Jim Glickenhaus sharing outline details with DSC some weeks ago of the proposed time-frame to see his (likely Alfa-engined) first of a planned two car effort on track.

He too is looking at an early summer 2020 track test debut.

Image

The story broken by our friends at Le Maine Libre over the weekend that ORECA may have found an opportunity to link with Peugeot in a customer-based Hypercar project revolve around a number of open questions – Are Rebellion ready to commit to the new formula? Is Peugeot interested? And, if it did happen, when could a car reasonably expect to emerge?

The answers appear to be: Not at all certain, Who knows, and highly unlikely for anything before year two.



There are though other realties at play with ORECA, no assumption should be made that their preferred customer partner is Rebellion, Hugues de Chaunac and co. are smarter than most – others may well be waiting in the wings!

Stories of interest from Porsche and Bentley ebb and flow, but are unlikely to come to fruition before the fiscal impacts of the dieselgate saga are absorbed by VAG unless a programme can become a profit, rather than cost, centred matter – Highly unlikely at present

Beyond that there’s the near certainty too of grandfathered LMP1s, there’s an option there for Rebellion, and a likely take-up of the offer from Ginetta, the current privateers will know that the grandfathering process is unlikely to do them many favours, but they’ll know too that in the first knockings of a brand new formula, they are likely to have better reliability on their side vs the new cars, in particular bearing in mind the compressed timescale for their arrival.

DPi 2.0

There is again much chatter about the prospects of Hypercar and Dpi 2.0, due to launch in 2022, coming together somehow in a form of globalised harmony.

 We’ve been here before of course, budgets, disagreement over tech and, let’s be frank, more than a modest dose of unenlightened self-interest, getting in the way of a workable solution.

Image

There is though a renewed drive to have another crack at breaking this particular Gordian Knot, and from more than one angle of attack.



There are certainly manufacturers still ready to push for a global formula, Ford and McLaren amongst them, and there are parties with serious influence within a number of relevant organisations that are actively working to find a solution.

Image

The globalisation issue is not, in any way, a matter that stands to only profit one party either, both IMSA and the ACO/ WEC would likely find more takers if the regulatory walls came tumbling down, and any observers implying that DPi 2.0 is currently strong enough to withstand those pressures needs to learn the lessons of recent history!

With the current constraints on the traditional OEMS not looking likely to be loosened any time soon there’s surely a moment now to look again, to find reasons to do it, rather than not to do it!

In the background it may very well be closer than many think to taking a significant step forward.



Class One

Sebring in 2019 saw BMW’s Jens Marquardt take a stab at putting the potential for Class One, the new shape of DTYM and Super GT, back on the table for consideration for a role in the globalised debate on the future shape of top class endurance racing.

Image

Background briefing at the time made it clear that IMSA was not minded to actively consider the formula, but that there may be lessons to be learned around the way in which Class One helped to control budgets with the use of standardised parts across all platforms, with a standard hybrid system in the near-future plans.

Media reports in the last couple of weeks suggest that Marquardt hasn’t given up his hopes of pushing for some sort of future for Class One in North America with IMSA invited to the DTM finale at Hockenheim with a clear intention to push the message that multiple major manufacturers are already heavily invested in the ruleset.



Again though US sources reject prospects for Class One having a role, certainly not as the top class, though other sources are suggesting that with the current low ebb in GTE Pro/ GTLM factory entrants, there might be at least a debate to be had over the future shape of top class GT racing on an international scale, in particular bearing in mind the fact that the joint DTM/ Super GT grids number five factory-backed efforts (BMW, Audi, Honda, Nissan and Toyota, as well as the privately funded Aston Martin DTM effort).
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Post by erwin greven » 11 months ago

Rumours say that Peugeot is interested in entering the Hypercar class.
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Post by erwin greven » 10 months ago

Michelin selected to supply tires for WEC Hypercar class

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest revealed today that Michelin has been selected to supply tires for the upcoming Hypercar Prototype FIA WEC top class, which will debut in the 2020/21 season.

Michelin’s deal is for three years, and comes after a lengthy tender process this year in which a bid from Goodyear is also understood to have been presented. This means that the French tire manufacturer will be supplying tires exclusively in both the WEC and IMSA’s top classes from next season onwards. Currently the LMP1 class is an open tire formula, though all three teams currently race with Michelin.

It now remains to be seen which of the two constructors will supply tires for the other three categories. It is expected that each WEC class will become a single-tire formula from 2020/21, and with Michelin and Goodyear likely to end up with two classes apiece.

“The FIA World Endurance Championship and particularly the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has enjoyed the benefit of Michelin’s technical expertise and pioneering outlook for many years now,” said Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO. “As supplier of the new Hypercar class, the French manufacturer will be making a vital contribution to the bright new era of endurance racing.”

Scott Clark, executive vice president of the Americas region for Michelin Group, responsible for the company’s global automotive, motorsports and experiences business segments, added: “We are very pleased to have been selected as the tire supplier to the new Hypercar category in the World Endurance Championship, which will enable Michelin to remain committed to the highest level of endurance racing, where our brand has excelled for over 20 years.

“The new Hypercar category, vehicles most similar to exotic ‘super cars,’ offers us new and particularly interesting challenges and also allows us to strengthen our partnership with exclusive vehicle manufacturers.

“As always, our goal is to develop tires that deliver the highest levels of performance and consistency over their life. Additionally, we look forward to bringing innovations that deliver sustainable solutions to the series, in complete alignment with Michelin Group’s strategy.”
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Post by erwin greven » 10 months ago

Toyota Open to DPi Integration into WEC’s Top Class

Toyota open to allowance of DPi 2.0 machinery in WEC for manufacturer boost…


Toyota is open for DPi integration into the FIA World Endurance Championship’s top class as long as it doesn’t prevent the Japanese manufacturer from showcasing its bespoke hybrid technology.

The development comes in the wake of continued talks between the ACO and IMSA on the possible adoption of IMSA’s so-called DPi 2.0 regulations that would create a global prototype platform by as early as the 2022 season.

While Toyota has continued development of its GR Super Sport-based prototype, which is scheduled to debut in the 2020-21 launch season, Vasselon suggested that he’s open to other types of cars competing in the top class, as long as Toyota can continue to utilize its own hybrid technology.

IMSA’s new-gen DPi ruleset is set to feature a spec hybrid system located on the rear axle of the cars, which are likely to retain the current LMP2 chassis designs.

“Obviously in the future we should look at any opportunity to have more manufacturers, of course,” Vasselon said.

“As long as we keep what brings us to Le Mans, which means some level of technology… We’re not interested in a spec hybrid system.”

The potential eligibility of DPi machinery would add to the diverse mix of cars already confirmed for the yet-to-be-named top class, rumored to be LMPi, which includes Toyota’s prototype-based hypercar, Aston Martin’s road-going Valkyrie as well as grandfathered LMP1 cars for at least the first season.

“We already have equalization between prototype and hypercar,” Vasselon said. “So there’s no limit to the equalization.

“And there will be grandfathered LMP1s by regulation as well, because they have a three-year homologation.

“It will be balance in all directions.”

Vasselon said he expects the first season of the Hypercar formula to be “reasonably good” despite limited OEM interest.

“At the moment we are hoping for four [teams] to be there, Aston and us, also ByKolles and Glickenhaus,” he said. “These are the four that are working to be present.

“Long-term anything can happen, several manufacturers are looking at it and planning to come in Year 2.”

Toyota Hypercar Development on “Very Risky Schedule”

Vasselon said development of its prototype-based hypercar for the 2020-21 season is moving “flat out” and admitted it remains a tight timeframe.

“Everything very critical,” he said. “The cars will hit the ground shortly before homologation and shortly before the first race. It’s all very tight, a very risky schedule.”

Vasselon said he would be in favor of a later start to the season, although it appears the first round at Silverstone will be only one week later than this year.

“Silverstone has moved a bit apparently, it will be a bit later, instead being of end of August, it will be at the beginning of September, so we would gain maybe one week there,” he said.

“It’s difficult to ask for more because at the moment we go for the perfect program and hope everything goes well.

“But for sure it’s risky. The schedule is very tight.”
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Post by Cheeveer » 10 months ago

Peugeot will be back in 2022!

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2019/11/1 ... -2022.html
With this announcement Peugeot joins Toyota, Aston Martin, Glickenhaus and ByKolles in formally committing to Hypercar. It is not clear whether ‘2022’ refers to a late season entry in 2021/22 (Season 9) or a full-season effort the following season.
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