Fans of the current generation of LMP2 cars can look forward to the fact that the service life of the vehicles has been extended by another year. The generation introduced in 2017 will be used until the end of the 2023 season. This was announced by the FIA, the world automobile association, in a statement following the latest World Council (WMSC) meeting.
An official reason is not given, but of course the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic play the main role. Teams can now postpone the acquisition of new cars at a time when – or so at least one hopes – economic normality has returned.
The introduction of the LMDh category based on the new LMP2 generation is not affected. This will continue to be introduced in the IMSA SportsCar Championship 2023. In the endurance world championship (WEC), the sub-category in the hypercar class will theoretically continue to be eligible to start from 2022. So far, however, there is no manufacturer who wants to get in before 2023.
The 2017 generation of the LMP2 bolides will be used almost twice as long as originally planned. The first plan was that the generation should be replaced after four seasons in 2021.
When the “super season” 2018/19 was introduced, the service life was extended to mid-2021, then in October 2019 by a further year to mid-2022. When the winter calendar was abolished, the end of the racing cars was set for the end of 2022, now it will be at the end of 2023.
The new LMP2 generation is likely to be wider
The new LMP2 generation is likely to grow again in breadth. Finally, the current LMP2 bolides were adjusted to the LMP1 width of 190 centimeters that was valid from 2014 to 2020. Le Mans hypercars and LMDh cars are once again allowed to have the classic width of 200 centimeters.
In addition, the FIA has now formally decided to match LMH and LMDh racing cars with corresponding technical guidelines in terms of performance. How this works in practice remains to be seen. There are fears that ACO (LMH) and IMSA (LMDh) might prefer “their” regulations for their own races.
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