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FIA, ACO Announce New Hybrid Rules At Le Mans

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, June 15 2018

With factory LMP1 efforts, like those of Audi discontinued, plans have been announced to pump life back into the fastest category of sports car racing.

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The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Federation Internationale de Automobile announced Friday at Le Mans, conceptual details of the technical regulations for the next generation of prototype race cars.

The big take aways are that beginning in 2020, all LMP1 cars will be hybrids and that chassis manufacturers will be mandated to make its hybrid units for sale at a yet-to-be-determined cost cap.

The announcement appears to be an effort to attract larger fields to sports car racing’s fastest classes.

This year, only Toyota will field LMP1 hybrids at Le Mans, which is scheduled for this weekend. Gone are the days when Audi and Porsche also fielded LMP1 hybrids.

A major objective for the 2020-21 regulations is to reduce top-category budgets to within 25 percent of the current costs for hybrid manufacturers,  which can run $30-35 million.

The new formula, FIA and ACO hope, will bring more privateers into the fields of major sports car events.

IMSA, North America’s top sports car sanctioning body applauded Friday’s annoucement.

The following is IMSA’s response to that announcement:

“We would like to congratulate the ACO and FIA on their release of the conceptual details of the technical regulations for the next generation of prototype race cars. Creating new regulations for a vehicle of this level of sophistication is an enormous task and today’s announcement marks an important, positive milestone.

“This is a work in progress. And while a lot of progress has been made there is much still to be done. We look forward to continuing to work closely in the coming months, collaborating with the ACO and FIA and our existing prototype partners, to confirm a viable cost structure for competing in the Prototype class. IMSA continues to be focused on providing attractive opportunities for manufacturers and teams to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a sustainable economic business model. The priority for IMSA is for future regulations to be consistent with the core elements and philosophy that has enabled our existing platform to become so successful.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, June 15 2018
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