WEC top class to be renamed 'Le Mans Hypercar'

The new top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be renamed 'Le Mans Hypercar' (LMH) from the 2020/2021 season, taking over from LMP1.

The World Motor Sport Council agreed upon the changes on Wednesday after months of deliberation regarding the name change.

Prototype racers that look like hypercars and racing versions of existing hypercars will race together for the first time when the new season gets underway in September 2020.

There is currently a contradiction between the WEC promoter Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) regarding whether the new LMH class is a factory only class after the WMSC update stated: "Competitors in the Le Mans Hypercar category in the WEC must enter a homologated car under the name of an automotive brand."

However, the ACO's own statement said "Le Mans Hypercars will be homologated under the name of the marquee and entry is subject to approval by the Endurance Committee."

The confusion has not been helped by the announcement of Peugeot's return to endurance racing on Wednesday, with the Swiss outfit Rebellion Racing.

It is currently unclear how the team structure would operate under the new ruling by the WMSC.

There is also further confusion if a manufacturers' or teams' title will be on offer for the LMH class as the nomenclature of the series was defined as:

-FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion (Le Mans Hypercar)
-FIA World Endurance Champion (Le Mans Hypercar)
-FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion (Le Mans GTE)
-FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Champion (Le Mans GTE)

The current LMP1 class requires a limitation on the number of personnel allowed to work on the cars during a race weekend, this will not change under the LMH regulations. 40 team members will be permitted to work on a two-car team, 43 should the team be racing a hybrid entry.

Testing for the inaugural hypercar season will also not have any restrictions in order to allow adequate time for teams to hone their cars. Restrictions will return for the second season of hypercar competition.

It was also confirmed LMP2 will take a 30kw reduction in power as well as a sole tyre supplier in order to reduce costs.

The new LMH class will assume the LMP1 class at the beginning of the new season which begins with the 4 Hours of Silverstone on September 1 2020.