24h Le Mans
14/06/2019 - 11:36

Hypercars : Endurance racing's top category (video)

The ACO and FIA published regulations in December 2018 that opened the door to a new top class in endurance – Hypercars. These regulations will come into force in September 2020.
Hypercars : Endurance racing's top category (video)

Hypercars mark a new era for the discipline. Three guiding principles underpin these regulations: guaranteed competition between the competitors (manufacturers or private teams) a controlled budget, and spectacular sportscars.

Top-tier cars

While governed by one rulebook, manufacturers may choose between:

  • Designing a prototype in the style of a hypercar
  • Developing a racing machine based on a road-going hypercar (a minimum of 20 road models must be produced over a two-year period)

The ACO and FIA have drawn up the following principles to guarantee the competitiveness of all cars in order to :

  • Weight : 1100 kg
  • Powertrain average total output: 550 kW (750 hp)
  • Performance level: 3:30, average lap time at Le Mans in race conditions
  • Single tyre supplier

The 2020 Hypercar

Aerodynamics

  • Free design of body and underbody
  • Imposed aerodynamic safety criteri

Hybrid systems are not mandatory

  • Maximum hybrid system output is 200 kW (270 hp)
  • This system drives the front wheels on the prototype, whereas the position is identical to the street-legal model for road-going hypercars

Combustion engine

  • For prototypes: bespoke racing design or modified hypercar engine
  • For road-going hypercars: based on the original car or an engine made by the same manufacturer
  • Regulated power curve
  • Single fuel

The technology

The goal

What is the aim of these regulations? To create a top class with a level playing field and limited impact of the budget on the performance to encourage teams to run two cars in a full FIA WEC season over a five-year campaign.

Regulations

Performance will be less reliant on the amount invested. High budget expenditure will not imply performance advantage.

Homologation

Chassis based on original cars will be subject to similar safety criteria as the prototypes. For prototypes, specifications and safety criteria remain unchanged compared to the current LMP1 class. Homologation is valid for five years. 

Hybrid system

An energy restitution threshold for the front wheels has been defined, to contain the advantages of a front-wheel hybrid system (4 wheel drive) and ensure that 2-wheel drive cars can compete.

  • 120 kph with slicks
  • Between 140 and 160 kph (a fix value will be defined) with wet-weather tyres

The hyper sport category

In order to level playing field between the two types of cars, prototypes and road car going hypercars, the principles of balancing performance are as follows: 

  • The performance windows established and confirmed at the time of homologation will ensure cars have comparable performance levels.
  • With two types of cars (prototypes and hypercars) in the same class, a system of balance of performance will be introduced. It will be largely based on the  automatic BoP currently and successfully used in LMGTE Pro.