Hypercar rules will help privateers fight for wins - Toyota

Toyota believes privateers will be able to compete with factory teams at the front of the FIA World Endurance Championship when the new hypercar concept rules arrive in 2020/21.

Hypercar rules will help privateers fight for wins - Toyota

The next set of regulations for the top class of the WEC outlined in June will level the playing field between the manufacturers and private outfits, according to Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon. 

"This, for me, is the first time that privateers will have a real chance," Vasselon told Motorsport.com.

"You can't cap costs, but you can make sure that you can't buy a massive advantage. This is the really innovative part of the new regulations and is a concept that achieves a lot of what motorsport needs." 

The hypercar concept rules, which have yet to be given a definitive name, aim to reduce budgets to a fraction of level spent by Toyota, Porsche and Audi in the LMP1 hybrid era by laying down maximum levels of downforce and minimum levels for drag. 

The target budget suggested by the FIA and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, who are jointly writing the rules, is €25-30 million a season. 

Privateers will also be able to lease a complete hybrid system from manufacturers developing the single, front-axle energy-retrieval unit that will be allowed from 2020/21.

"You can come to the high side of the performance window without spending too much," explained Vasselon. "The targets reduce the need for development and are achievable at an affordable level."

A number of privateers are known to be taking part in the technical working group meetings formulating the regulations in time for the end of the year. 

Oreca and Dallara, which have respectively built the Rebellion R-13 and SMP Racing's BR Engineering BR1, are known to be involved. 

Vasselon's comments come at a time when Toyota, the only manufacturer remaining in LMP1, has been running away from the privateers in the WEC. 

The WEC, together with the ACO and the FIA, has so far been unable to deliver on its target of laptime parity for the independent teams running non-hybrid machinery. 

The two Toyota TS050 Hybrids finished four laps up on the nearest privateer at last month's Silverstone 6 Hours WEC round prior to their exclusion for a technical infringement. 

The limitations on aerodynamic performance are at the core of the hypercar concept rules, allowing manufacturers to race cars that look like sportscars in their model ranges because the windtunnel will not define their overall shape. 

This is part of the rulemakers' strategy to make the category more attractive to manufacturers. 

2020 LMP1 Regulations

2020 LMP1 Regulations

Photo by: ACO

shares
comments
Porsche 919 Evo misses out on Brands Indy lap record

Previous article

Porsche 919 Evo misses out on Brands Indy lap record

Next article

Ginetta cuts back to single car for Fuji WEC round

Ginetta cuts back to single car for Fuji WEC round
Load comments
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021