LMDh first step towards single formula in WEC, IMSA

The new LMDh class that will allow cars from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship is the first step towards common rules across both series.

LMDh first step towards single formula in WEC, IMSA

IMSA and WEC promoter and Le Mans 24 Hours organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest outlined a vision on the LMDh announcement on Friday for a further convergence of the regulations by the middle of the new decade. 

The LMDh cars, based on the next generation of LMP2 machinery, will be able to go up against LM Hypercars in the WEC from the start of the 2021/22 season before coming on-line in IMSA in 2022, but both organisations have stated that the longer-term aim of their latest accord is to create one set of rules. 

The earliest it is likely to happen would be 2025 after the initial five-year commitment to the LM Hypercar class that kicks off this September at the beginning of the 2020/21 WEC campaign.

ACO president Pierre Fillon told Motorsport.com: "The dream is to have only one category with the same design and the same performance.

"The target is to have only one class in the end, in addition to hydrogen cars [a class for which will be introduced at Le Mans in 2024]."

IMSA president John Doonan explained that there was a will on both sides for the process of convergence to continue beyond the life-cycle of the LMDh and LM Hypercar regulations. 

"I would say everyone up here to today [on the stage during the IMSA/ACO announcement in Daytona] hopes that the ultimate outcome is one, single formula," he said.  

"Obviously there are people who have committed to hypercar and there are manufacturers that are committed to our rules over here.

"But over the next few years we are going to see a convergence: I think that would be a dream come true."

The LM Hypercar class will allow for pure-bred prototypes such as the car under development by Toyota and Aston Martin's 2020/21 contender based on its road-going Valkyrie to race together. 

The different cars, which can be hybrid or non-hybrid under the twin sets of regulations, will be equated by a system of Balance of Performance similar to that used in the GTE classes. 

The BoP will then be employed to ensure that the LMDh cars are at the same level, but Doonan said that the intention was to "get the cars as close as we can" from the outset.

He explained that this might allow for LM Hypercars to race in the IMSA series and at its blue riband enduros at Daytona (Rolex 24) and Sebring and the Petit Le Mans 10-hour race at Road Atlanta. 

"The fact that we have this official alliance as of today means there is a common vision to do the right thing for the industry," he said. "You never know."

Fillon stressed that there is a desire for LM Hypercars to be able to join the IMSA series, but he explained that no decision will be made until the LMDh rules have been finalised and then announced over the Sebring IMSA/WEC double-header weekend in March. 

"It is too early to know, but why not?" he said. "You will have to wait until Sebring to have the technical details."

shares
comments
IMSA and ACO announce Prototype rules convergence in 2022

Previous article

IMSA and ACO announce Prototype rules convergence in 2022

Next article

Penske talks of Le Mans return after IMSA/WEC rules convergence

Penske talks of Le Mans return after IMSA/WEC rules convergence
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021