After the mass exodus by Audi and shortly Porsche from the World Endurance Championship, the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest have sat down to begin preliminary discussions on how to lure manufacturers back to the WEC post 2020.
ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil has alluded that the mooted rules will make somewhat of a return to GTP prototypes during the 1990s and early 2000s when Porsche, Mercedes and BMW took centre stage.
“We are right in the middle of it” Beaumesnil told Motorsport.com. “So we prefer to take a bit more time before really explaining it.”
Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon alluded that the new regulations would concentrate more on branding for manufacturers – to allow a greater correlation from track to road.
“At the moment an LMP1 is a kind of generic prototype and you have to paint it to put your mark on it,” he said.
“The idea could be to go towards bodywork that is clearly closer to real cars — it could interest manufacturers who at the moment who are not interested in a generic LMP.”
The concept is not dissimilar to IMSA’s Daytona Prototype international class in North America, where DPi rules allow manufacturers to push their own bodywork designs to the front and rear of an established LMP2 chassis.
The potential moves comes at a time where hypercars such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the LaFerrari are piquing the interest of designers such as Adrian Newey, whilst still offering manufacturers to show off hybrid technology.
McLaren have also shown an interest in the proposed regulations, with McLaren boss Zak Brown has revealing the Woking based outfit had been canvassed among other manufacturers to draft a new set of LMP1 regulations.
“We like lots of what they are saying: with the budgets and the level of technology they are talking, it’s heading in a direction that means there is a strong interest on our part,” Brown told Autosport.
As a former winner with their F1 GTR supercar in at Le Mans in 1995, Brown said that he would “love to see” the marque back at sports car racing’s jewel in the crown, but conceded that any initial return would most likely be in the GTE classes.
With current McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso rumoured to test a Toyota TS050 HYBRID at Sunday’s official WEC rookie test in Bahrain, McLaren’s interest in constructing an outright contender at Le Mans could be on the table sooner than you might think.
300-101 400-101 300-320 300-070 300-206 200-310 300-135 300-208 810-403 400-050 640-916 642-997 300-209 400-201 200-355 352-001 642-999 350-080 MB2-712 400-051 C2150-606 1Z0-434 1Z0-146 C2090-919 C9560-655 642-64 100-101 CQE CSSLP 200-125 210-060 210-065 210-260 220-801 220-802 220-901 220-902 2V0-620 2V0-621 2V0-621D 300-075 300-115 AWS-SYSOPS 640-692 640-911 1Z0-144 1z0-434 1Z0-803 1Z0-804 000-089 000-105 70-246 70-270 70-346 70-347 70-410