Support for ‘global’ LMP1 sportscar regulations

Mat Coch

Thursday 8th February, 2018 - 9:35am

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The DPi class is the top tier of sportscar racing in the United States

United Autosports and McLaren boss Zak Brown has offered his support to proposals for a new ‘global’ LMP1 formula.

Sportscar racing currently has two major top tier formulas, with the World Endurance Championship style LMP1 machines, and the similar DPi class run by IMSA in the United States.

However there is a growing push from within the FIA and ACO, the governing bodies which oversee the WEC, to settle on one set of regulations across both platforms.

It’s a move supported by Zak Brown, whose United Autosports team competed in the DPi class at the Daytona 24 Hours late last month.

“It seems it would be in everyone’s best interests to land on a common set of rules,” Brown told Sportscar365.

“I hope they can come together, because I think it will be great for the fans and great for the teams and the manufacturers.

“I know from a McLaren point of view, if the chances of us developing two cars as opposed to one, (one) is much more unlikely.

“If it’s one, it makes it that much more compelling for us and other OEMs from ones I’ve discussed the future with.

“I think if you look at IMSA, you’ve got a good starting point sitting here with 20 cars on the grid. It feels to me that that should be the starting point of the conversation.”

In America, the DPi class welcomed Acura as the fourth manufacturer into the class at Daytona, while it’s understood both Ford and Lexus are evaluating their positions ahead of possible entries.

Conversely, only Toyota is fielding factory-backed LMP1 entries in this season’s WEC after Porsche and Audi opted to withdraw from the class over the last two years.

Any new regulations are not expected to be introduced any sooner than the middle of 2021, as the WEC moves towards a ‘summer’ season in Europe.

That would provide interested parties and opportunity to design and build new cars, and sees timings lineup more closely with IMSA’s current homologation period, which runs until the end of the 2021 season.

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