A new-look premiere class for endurance racing have been announced at the ’s annual press conference.

 

Launched for 2020-2024: sleeker prototypes with more marque cachet, but will retain the usage of a hybrid system while leaving free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost. The name of the new class will be chosen by popular vote. 

 

 

These new prototypes will feature a KERS system in front and 4WD to ensure energy efficiency. This technology will become more and more popular as the KERS system developed by some constructors will have to be used on production cars at a pre-defined price. 

 

The new regulations are chasing a 3:20.00 per lap at Le Mans with limited fuel. The other priority is cost and vehicles will be competitive, innovative and affordable – requiring a quarter of current budgets. Costly developments will be kept in check by a new homologation procedure and technical rules that will naturally reduce budgets. 

 

However, there will be no restrictions on engine design, with with either a turbocharged or naturally-aspirated design being allowed with any number of cylinders. Consumption rules will ensure fair competition between different systems.    The new regulations will take effect for 2020-2024. 

 

The cars will have an overall weight of 980 kg with a fixed weight distribution and maximum fuel flow.

 

An electric motor will be mounted on the front axle with a capped output of 200 kW and a total engine output of 520 kW.

 

 “The new regulations for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which come into effect for the 2020/21 season, are the result of hard work between members of the FIA, ACO, manufacturers and teams”, said Jean Todt, FIA President.

 

“This will provide endurance racing with a long term, stable platform, while continuing to offer a cost-effective stage to showcase future technologies.” 

 

Additionally, the ACO said it would be considering introducing a zero-emission hydrogen class for 2024.

 

An ACO/FIA working group has been assembled to research the topic with seven automotive manufacturers and parts makers developing hydrogen technology involved in discussions.

 

“Crafting these regulations was particularly satisfying as very quickly it sparked interest and gained the support of competitors or potential competitors”, added Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

 

“A new era will dawn in 2020 for endurance racing. On paper it has enormous potential. Le Mans 2018, 2019 and 2020 will each be outstanding editions, but now I can’t wait for the start at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.”