World Endurance hypercar budgets slashed
The FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which runs the World Endurance Championship, have cut the proposed budget target for a two car factory team running in the top class of the series from €25-30m down to €20m.
The new figure emerged from an outline presented to the FIA by the technical working groups. The full regulations of the new hypercar class, which was first revealed to industry insiders at the World Motorsport Symposium last November, will be delivered to the FIA’s Endurance Commission, before being submitted for formal approval by the World Motorsport Council on December 5.
The lower budget was revealed in a prospectus delivered to manufacturers in a bid to entice them to join the new hypercar class, which is set to replace LMP1 as the WEC’s premier category in 2020 and calls for the next generation of racers to resemble the extreme roadcars and concept cars these manufacturers are making. It is also hoped that the €20m figure will encourage IMSA, North America’s sanctioning body for sportscar racing, to adopt the regulations after it initially baulked at the original €30m estimate.
These lower figures are expected to be achieved by reducing performance targets. Originally, when announced publicly at Le Mans in June, the ACO suggested that the hypercar class cars would be able to lap the historic French circuit in around 3:20, more than five seconds slower than the 3:14.791 posted by Toyota driver Kamui Kobyashi in 2017. This target has, however now been revised down to around 3:24-25 a lap.
Budgets will also help to be contained by limited opportunities for development once the cars are homologated, with updates only allowed for aesthetic reason or to recover performance if a car is not competitive with the field. Additionally, only 10 days of testing will be permitted throughout the season, none of which will be allowed during the non-European leg of the championship.