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WEC: 2018 Season News and Discussion Thread

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WEC: 2018 Season News and Discussion Thread

 
Old 12-06-2018, 03:52 PM
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2020 Hypercar Regs Approved

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/mot...s-2020-le-mans

From 2020 to 2025, there’ll be a new breed of sleek hypercars running in the WEC

It’s officially official: hybrid hypercars are going to race at Le Mans from 2020. In fact, “sleek, high performance hybrid cars” will race across the World Endurance Championship – of which Le Mans forms a part – between 2020 to 2025.

Out goes the current top tier of LMP1 cars made of unobtanium, then, and in comes a raft of new hypercars backed by “much more reasonable budgets”.

Exciting, isn’t it? The FIA had long been considering changing the structure of the very sharp end of WEC racing to better resemble road-going hypercars, and has now confirmed a few regulations for this new tier of ‘hyper sport endurance racing’.

The cars, as noted before, will have to “turn the heads of experts and newcomers alike”, and embody such things as “sportiness, competition, speed, adrenaline, passion” and other effervescent buzzwords. “The regulations should encourage manufacturers to produce cars that resemble road vehicles,” explains ACO sport director Vincent Beaumesnil.

In more technical terms, the performance aim for these new cars is a 3m 22s lap time during qualifying, and a 3m 27s for the race. Long race, too.

Getting even more technical, the FIA says each car will only have one hybrid system on the front axle, delivering 200kW – around 268bhp – which can’t cost any more than €3m to develop. The battery will weigh 70kg, and the motor 50kg. “This easily achievable specification does not require expensive development,” the FIA says.

Now to the big hairy part. The internal combustion unit will produce just shy of 700bhp – 697bhp to be precise – with a minimum weight of 180kg. The FIA will, in time, denote a specific consumption amount in order to limit development costs for the engine. In total, you’re staring down the barrel of nearly 1,000bhp.

Which will only power a weight of 1,040kg. We’re told each car’s aero will get a “very restricted” window of development to avoid massive expense, and overall, each team’s budget will be set at €20m (£18m) per full WEC season, for two cars. Personnel is limited to 40 people for both cars.

There’s something called ‘success ballast’, too, for additional competitiveness – 0.5kg will be added to each car per marked point, up to 50kg. The cars will carry this weight right up until Le Mans, at which point it all comes off and everyone goes bananas. Given the controversy caused by ‘Balance of Performance’ regs elsewhere on the Le Mans grid, that’s welcome news indeed.

The FIA still hasn’t figured out a name for this new breed of aero-restricted, cheaper hybrid hypercars, but will announce it in January next year following a popular vote. And, we already know one particular manufacturer who – upon hearing the news months ago – declared a very strong interest in running a team. Koenigsegg.

“We would love to go and race,” company boss Christian von Koenigsegg told TG earlier this year. “Finally, there is a chance. This new class is fantastic. If it really comes to fruition in a good way, it will be amazing.”

Toyota too, at the start of this year, showed us a rather delightful hybrid hypercar in the shape of the Gazoo Racing Super Sport concept : a car with - that’s right - 1,000bhp…
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:38 PM
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I hope we finally get a full grid at the top class, but I'm doubtful.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:02 AM
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The FIA still hasn’t figured out a name for this new breed of aero-restricted, cheaper hybrid hypercars, but will announce it in January next year following a popular vote. And, we already know one particular manufacturer who – upon hearing the news months ago – declared a very strong interest in running a team. Koenigsegg.

“We would love to go and race,” company boss Christian von Koenigsegg told TG earlier this year. “Finally, there is a chance. This new class is fantastic. If it really comes to fruition in a good way, it will be amazing.”

Toyota too, at the start of this year, showed us a rather delightful hybrid hypercar in the shape of the Gazoo Racing Super Sport concept : a car with - that’s right - 1,000bhp…
OOOOooo, la-la, Sasoon. The possibilities.





Marco van Overbeeke | freelance automotive designer - TODAY'S HYPERCARS IN LE MANS GT1 SPEC RACING LIVERIES

Brendon Hartley will surely be returning to sports cars after exiting F1 this season, no?

Also, anyone think Nando will ever race in WEC again, even though he already has the LeMans portion of the Triple Crown under his belt?
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:50 AM
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Yea, this could be some sick stuff.

I mean, the LMP1's were heavenly but they all left :'(

....well, except Toyota.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nanxun View Post
OOOOooo, la-la, Sasoon. The possibilities.




I'm liking these renders. It's kind of a mashup of the old LMGT1, with LMP1, and modern GT1 cars. I actually drew similar prototypes back in my student days in the late 90's.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:25 AM
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That would be a grid. As long as BOP & pit window regulations don't ruin it.
Let the LMP1 group get a little wild.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:44 PM
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Ferrari is close to confirming a full FIA World Endurance Championship program for the upcoming ‘Hypercar’ regulations, RACER understands.

Multiple industry sources close to the Italian manufacturer have confirmed to RACER over the past few weeks that the Italian supercar maker is actively evaluating a program for the second season of the aforementioned regulation cycle, which begins at the start of the 2020/21 season.
https://racer.com/2018/12/17/ferrari...ercar-program/

That would be pretty cool if Ferrari came back to the top class at Le Mans. The last time was in 1973 with the 312 P.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:51 PM
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312 P


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Old 12-26-2018, 09:42 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/r...-2020/4316901/

Red Bull could target Le Mans 24 Hours success with an Aston Martin Valkyrie-based hypercar instead of Formula 1, if it does not see a viable post-2020 grand prix future.

The energy drinks company took over Jaguar's works entry for the 2005 F1 season and blossomed into the dominant force from 2010-13, winning four consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles.

Red Bull has been reduced to a sporadic race winner in the V6 turbo-hybrid era that began in 2014, but will switch from being a Renault engine customer to having de facto works Honda status for 2019 in a bid to fight for titles again.

F1 owner Liberty Media is targeting a commercial and regulatory revolution once the current Concorde Agreement expires after the 2020 season, but has failed to make significant progress.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko says his team is not interested in becoming a customer again and has made it clear that Red Bull will not be held to ransom over planned rule changes.

"We have an agreement until 2020," Marko told Motorsport.com. "As long as there is no engine regulation and no Concorde Agreement, neither Red Bull nor Honda will make a decision.

"However, we will certainly not become dependent again, as we have been in the past, when we were begging others and statements and promises were not kept."

Red Bull's current Honda deal includes the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Beyond then, Red Bull's choices appear limited if there are not favourable terms to continue.

"Stop is the option," said Marko. "Or do something else, other racing series.

"With the Valkyrie, Le Mans could be an option with hypercar rules. We went through with it, and it's a sensational success.

"The cars were all sold out immediately. That's another good pillar for Red Bull Technologies."

Red Bull helped Aston Martin developed the Valkyrie, a limited-run road hypercar, with its F1 technical director Adrian Newey a key part of the project.

A track version of the car has already been produced.

The WEC is working on new regulations to replace LMP1 as the top division, with the inaugural season for hypercar-based entries taking place across 2020 and 2021.

One of the fundamental parts of F1 owner Liberty Media's vision for 2021 onwards is reduced costs, and Marko suggested Red Bull's interest World Endurance Championship's flagship race does not depend entirely on a complete withdrawal from F1.

"If there was a cost cap in Formula 1, we would have to cut people," he said. "We don't necessarily want that.

"We could then use them in such projects [as Le Mans]. It still looks like you can run in the WEC at a reasonable cost with the base of our Valkyrie.

"Although Red Bull has never been to the 24 Hours, that's something we're thinking about.

"The main financial burden would be on Aston Martin, which is also clear, because at Le Mans the manufacturer wins. But that would fit into our concept."
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:53 AM
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Why not just do both?

You have the flow....
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by R J Poseidon 6 View Post
Why not just do both?

You have the flow....
Money?
​​​​​​
Few manufacturers have attempted F1 and Le Mans at the same time.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:43 AM
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It's certainly money, but my point is they have as much money as God so... why not?
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:21 AM
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WEC 2020 Hypercar update

Hypercar update

Almost two months have passed since the FIA approved the Hypercar regulations for Le Mans, and to date there have been no statements of intent from any motor manufacturer that sat at the table and thrashed them out.

This is a worry; not even Toyota has offered a positive statement, although it is known that two car makers have already scoped out their engine and cooling requirements for their cars and are actively working behind the scenes, and that one of them is likely to be Toyota.

However, there are some serious concerns; Aston Martin is one of the key elements to the future of these regulations. While its chairman David Richards has confirmed that the company is interested in racing at Le Mans with a road car-based product, and that the company has started its engine programme for the Hypercar rules, the share price of Aston Martin has fallen since it floated on the stock exchange in October, and questions have to be asked whether or not it is worth them producing a racing version of a car that will almost certainly sell out anyway.

Aston’s involvement in Hypercar is key; without them, Ferrari and McLaren may take their decisions not to compete. Ferrari has yet to make its presentation to the board for its Hypercar which would succeed the LaFerrari, while McLaren, or indeed Lotus, would only be able to commit if it was guaranteed that there was more competition than only Toyota.

Mazda and Acura attended the last working group hosted by the FIA, but feedback at Daytona was, at best, luke-warm over the opportunities offered by the FIA and the ACO. Ford is known to be considering a DPi programme in IMSA, and at Daytona it appeared that BMW is in the same position. No decisions have been taken, but interest in the US style of racing from both manufacturers is high.

The racing programmes must start soon if they are to be ready for the start of the 2020/21 season, and be publicly announced if there is any hope for these regulations to be implemented and be successful. Right now, the silence is deafening.
WEC | 2020 Hypercar update - Racecar Engineering
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:00 AM
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Not sure if fully WEC or just 24Nur...

https://www.motorsport.com/endurance...hours/4370083/

Aston Martin Racing will not take part in this year's Nurburgring 24 Hours, Motorsport.com has learned.

Team sources confirmed at last weekend's second round of the VLN championship - which was called off due to bad weather - that there will be no factory-supported Vantage GT3 in this year's edition, due to the sheer number of orders for the new-generation car.
Aston Martin would have had to enter the second VLN race after missing the first one in order to comply with the Nurburgring 24 Hours regulations for the SP9 class for FIA-spec GT3 cars, which state that a car has to be entered in three Nordschleife races before the main race itself.

Only one more VLN race is scheduled before the qualification race for the 24 Hours in May.

Aston Martin is struggling to meet the demand for its latest challenger, its first new GT3 car for seven years. At last week's ADAC GT Masters test, the PROpeak Performance squad had to settle for one car, with the second set to be delivered just before the start of the season.
In last year's Nurburgring 24 Hours, Aston Martin Racing fielded an old-generation V12 Vantage, with Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Maxime Martin and Marco Sorensen only narrowly missed out on a podium, finishing fourth.

No plans for Bentley N24 return

Fellow British marque Bentley has also stated it has no plans to return to the German endurance classic with its second-generation Continental GT3 after skipping 2018's running.

Bentley Motorsport boss Brian Gush told Motorsport.com in February: "At the moment we have no plans to do the Nurburgring this year, but we'd definitely like to do it next season.

"If we do it, we'd really have to set up a programme to do the full VLN. It is such a specific race, which needs its own specific development because of its different tyre rules and the aero changes, so you can't just pitch up at the 24 Hours."

Bentley opted not to take part last year because it was the development year for the new Continental. It previously contested the event in 2015-17 using the original Continental GT3 in a joint campaign with the HTP Motorsport squad and then in partnership with the Abt team.

Bentley's best Nurburgring results were an eighth place on debut in 2015 and then a seventh the following year.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:25 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/...rtley/4372662/

Fernando Alonso is looking unlikely to remain with the Toyota LMP1 team for the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

The Japanese manufacturer is refusing to comment on speculation that the two-time Formula 1 world champion will not be part of its line-up when the first edition of the WEC run to a 'winter series' format kicks off at Silverstone in September.

A spokesman for Toyota Motorsport GmbH told Motorsport.com: "We expect to announce our drivers for next season relatively soon."

He said that he could not comment further when asked if Brendon Hartley was in the frame to replace Alonso alongside Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in 2019/20.

It is understood that two-time WEC title winner and ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Hartley could be in place at Toyota as a reserve driver as early as the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Alonso, who joined Toyota for the 2018/19 WEC superseason while he was still racing for McLaren in F1, has been non-committal on his plans.

He said during this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona that his chances of continuing in the WEC beyond the climax of the superseason at Le Mans this year were only "50/50".

The Spaniard has outlined an ambition to compete in "iconic races" around the world in the future, while not ruling out an F1 comeback or a full campaign in IndyCar after his return to the Indianapolis 500 this year.

"I feel that I need to recharge the batteries a little bit," Alonso said at the Shanghai WEC round last November. "But in 2020 it could be a full season in IndyCar, a full season in F1, a full season in a different series."

He has also achieved the second leg of unofficial triple crown of motorsport by winning Le Mans last year and leads the WEC points with two races to go.

It appears that Alonso's desire to keep his options open for next year doesn't fit with Toyota's need to get its driver line-up in place for a season that is only four and half months away.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:45 PM
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Hard to imagine Alonso staying at Toyota, as there is no challenge there.
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