Alex Misoyannis • The hotly-anticipated, heavily overhauled top tier of the 2020/21 World Endurance Championship has finally been named: Le Mans Hypercar (LMH).
First announced in June 2018, the new hypercar class replaces the outgoing LMP1 rules, and aims to draw a closer connection between the racing on track and the sales race in the showrooms.
Alongside the name announcement, a number of key rules were also detailed in a report from Motorsport.
While it was already known that 20 road-legal examples of the race car must be built within two years of its debut, it has now been announced each team has been allocated infinite testing mileage for its first year of competition, with restrictions setting in after their second seasons.
Further strengthening bonds with the showroom is a clause preventing cars not tied to a automotive nameplate from competing, potentially spelling the end for highly-successful privateer teams such as Rebellion Racing, SMP Racing and ByKolles Racing – the latter of which previously put its hand up for entry into the new series.
The number of team personnel present at the track has been limited to 40 for non-hybrid entries, or 43 for electrified ones, according to Motorsport.
As a refresher, LMH cars must adhere to a minimum weight of 1040 kilograms, with power output fixed at 560kW - no more than 200kW of which may come from a hybrid system. The FIA expects a benchmark lap time of 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
The lesser LMP2 series will see an update for the 2020/21 season, with the aim of slowing the class so not to be quicker than the prized new Le Mans Hypercars.
The power output of the mid-mounted 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 will be cut by 30kW to around 410kW, while Goodyear will exit the series to leave Michelin as the sole tyre supplier.
The first Le Mans Hypercars will hit the track in late 2020.
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