here’s a new reason to be excited about the future of endurance racing

By topgear, 28 January 2020

As you might have guessed, we’re rather excited about the upcoming Le Mans Hypercar class in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The rules, which aim to bring manufacturers back to the sport’s top tier with racing versions of road-legal hypercars, will come into effect in September this year.

Aston Martin, Toyota and Peugeot are already signed up, and rumour has it that McLaren, Lamborghini and Koenigsegg are interested. This is great news, but things are set to get a whole lot more competitive, because the Americans are coming…

Yep, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which looks after the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the US – that’s the one which includes the Daytona 24 Hours – has finally come together with Le Mans organiser Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to converge the rules of its top-spec classes. Hurrah!

Essentially, this means that the IMSA will adapt its plans for future prototypes, allowing them to be close enough to race against the Hypercars at Le Mans in 2022. Oooft. The IMSA’s new class will be called LMDh (standing for Le Mans Daytona) and Balance of Performance rules will ensure any minor differences don’t lead to an advantage either way. 

Both the Hypercars and the LMDh cars will be slightly slower than their current counterparts, but the aim is for cheaper, more competitive racing. Lovely.

Quick point of note – it’s still unclear as to whether the European Le Mans Hypercars will be able to go the other way and race in America, but it’s a start people, it’s a start. Imagine a Daytona and Le Mans double in the same season – there’s an incentive…