Automobile Club de l’Ouest and International Motor Sports Association have announced the basics for the upcoming LMDh ruleset.
The cars will replace the current DPi cars in the IMSA series in 2022, but will also be allowed to race in the FIA WEC, including Le Mans.
The collaboration was announced back in January 2020 at Daytona, and all parties have worked hard ever since, to bring up some technical specifications, that the majority could be happy with.
There will be four chassis suppliers – ORECA, Ligier, Multimatic and Dallara – and these four will also deliver the new LMP2 chassis’s, panned for 2023.
The difference will be the open engine choice, where each manufacturer has to develop their own engine and bodywork. All LMDh cars will have a hybrid system, from a single supplier, which basically means that each manufacturer will get a box with all components in it, and “only” have to bolt it onto the car.
The minimum weight of the car will be 1030kg, with 670 bhp, combined from the internal combustion engine and the hybrid part. All cars will be rear-wheel drive only. A lot of hybrid systems have four-wheel drive, but for the chassis’s to be utilized in both LMP2 and LMDh without modifications, it’s only possible to do rear-wheel drive only.
All cars will race on Michelin tires, just like the Hypercars will.
Only mainstream car manufacturers will be allowed to build an LMDh car. There is no exact definition of this. French manufacturer Alpine has been rumoured to building an LMDh, after several seasons of running in LMP2, but the question is whether their production numbers are high enough to be called mainstream. Russian Aurus has entered LMP2 with G-Drive Racing, with similar interests of advancing to the top category, but they have even smaller production numbers than Alpine. But the question is, will ACO and IMSA ever consider saying no to entrants, especially in this current economic climate?
All cars will have a homologation of at least 5 years, which is the same timespan on the current DPi cars.
It’s also confirmed that Hypercar will be allowed to participate in the IMSA races, including the Daytona 24 Hours. This can only happen once IMSA has had the chance to see the cars perform on North American tracks, so they can calculate a BOP, which matches them to the LMDh cars.
The plan is for LMDh and Hypercar to battle side by side, as the quickest cars in both FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It’s confirmed that Toyota Gazoo Racing and Glickenhaus will enter cars in the FIA WEC 2021 Championship, while ByKolles Racing Team also has plans of participating. There isn’t news on that programme, while Glickenhaus do share information every now and then.
Toyota Gazoo Racing is planning to test their car early October 2020, with all current development work going on in front of computer screens and the wind tunnel in Cologne.
Both the ACO and IMSA do however state that the LMDh intro might be delayed until 2023, in case the current COVID-19 situation will delay things. The final LMDh ruleset will be released in September 2020 at the latest.