The future of the WEC

Doc Austin

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That Mecachrome engine was so bad, and the Manor program such a sham. The AER seems like it has potential, and the fact that it was competitive with Rebellion and SMP in testing is promising.
I always liked the Ginetta, but the color scheme hid how good looking of a car this is. It's got a really aggressive stance. I don't know why they went with Megachrome, or even now, AER. If that were my car I'de want a Gibson in it, just because it's so damm bulletproof.

Of course, the AER has been looking pretty good in the SPM cars, so I will be delightfully wrong if the Ginetta can get some good results.


..............problem is...what customer would want to invest in a privateer LMP1 program right now?
Nobody sane. You get one season against the unbeatable Toyota and then you throw all your cars and spares away. Yet another example of being so addicted to manufacturer money that the FIA doesn't take care of the interest of the privateers.

We're supposed to debut new rules within a few years, and until then, you should be expected to compete for best-in-class behind the Toyotas - what gives?
Here's the fun part: They are still fighting over the Mega Super GT (or whatever they are calling t this week) rules and no manufacturers have actually committed. It's entirely possible they won't get any entries and then they will be forced to squeeze another year or two out of the current formula. If Ginetta is betting on that, they may be on to something.

These are million dollar cars. A small manufacturer can't afford to burn their design, build and development costs, not to even mention the two cars they have. They going to make this work or their very existence could be threatened.
 

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Whooooaaaaaaaa Nelly this is getting good. As Toyota have labeled the lack of clarity and direction regarding the HyperMegaGTSuperCar regulations as "ridiculous", further discussions between IMSA and the FIA and ACO have been had concerning the DPi 2.0 regs set to debut in 2022...

And could IMSA’s next-generation DPis, commonly referred to as “DPi 2.0”, become a global solution as the top class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to complement IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship?

Those two topics have been making the rounds in American and European sports car circles in recent weeks, and the chatter has only increased this weekend at IMSA’s stop in Mid-Ohio and the FIA World Endurance Championship’s round in Belgium. A rumored meeting in Miami, Florida last month is said to have contained leadership from both organizations where the topics were discussed.
Beset with a lack of buy-in from most manufacturers, paddock intel suggests Hypercar 2020 could be shelved in favor of DPi 2.0 in 2022. Nine manufacturers are said to have attended Thursday’s DPi steering committee meeting at Mid-Ohio, meaning five brands that aren’t currently taking part in the class are at the table as the finer points of the 2022 rules, which are likely to include a spec hybrid-electric kinetic energy recovery system to provide a modest horsepower boost, are finalized.
Nine freaking manufacturers in discussions at Mid-Ohio this weekend - 9! Can't imagine how badass it would be if you had even six of those competing together in the same class at Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans.

PRUETT: A global future for DPi?
https://racer.com/2019/05/04/pruett-a-global-future-for-dpi/
 

Doc Austin

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If nine manufacturers are engaged with IMSA on its cost-effective future DPis, how many from Asia, Europe, and elsewhere, would engage with the ACO if DPi-at-Le Mans was an option?
Well this makes so much sense the FIA will never go for t.
 

FLRacingFan

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Well this makes so much sense the FIA will never go for t.
I think this is different. IMSA and the FIA/ACO wouldn't be having secret meetings in Miami (I think they had one in January as well) if they were so confident in whatever the new WEC regulations are. Even Toyota are pissed now, and are hesitant beyond the 2019-2020 season. When they first toyed with IMSA and the DPi formula in 2016 and 2017, they still had Porsche in the game. Porsche even helped write the initial future set of prototype regulations. Now they're gone, Toyota could be gone, and they're getting played yet again by perpetual fencesitters Aston Martin, Ferrari, and McLaren. The WEC faces the very real possibility of having absolutely zero mainstream auto manufacturers in place for 2020-2021 and beyond...hence why they actually have reason to make this work with IMSA and DPi this time. They're at their most desperate and vulnerable position right now. Especially seeing that manufacturers are very interested in DPi 2.0.
 

Doc Austin

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I am sorry I always sound so negative about the FIA and ACO. I really do hope they can build something good. I almost don't ever care what it is as long as we get a big, competitive field of fast, swoopy prototypes.
 

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DAGYS: Could DPi Be the WEC’s Lifeline?
https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/dagys-could-dpi-be-wecs-lifeline/

A representative from one manufacturer that’s not currently in DPi but involved in DPi 2.0 discussions told Sportscar365 they would gain instant approval from their board to enter should the platform be eligible in both IMSA and the WEC.
I know bespoke parts and tons of development is what the top class of the world championship and Le Mans 'should' be about, but for the purpose of sustainability and volume of involvement the answer seems to be clear.
 

Doc Austin

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A representative from one manufacturer that’s not currently in DPi but involved in DPi 2.0 discussions told Sportscar365 they would gain instant approval from their board to enter should the platform be eligible in both IMSA and the WEC.
Wouldn't it be great if it were Porsche!
 

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TBH I'd love to see WEC go to 10-11 rounds. Add a race in Canada at Mosport or Toronto Street or Montreal or Circuit Trois-Rivieres, another 1-2 yearly rotating races or something as well.
 

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TBH I'd love to see WEC go to 10-11 rounds. Add a race in Canada at Mosport or Toronto Street or Montreal or Circuit Trois-Rivieres, another 1-2 yearly rotating races or something as well.
They were in discussions to add a North American race at IMS or Montreal a few years ago but that wound up being Sebring. I'd like to see them add another race on the continent but I'm not sure how feasible it is financially. COTA did pretty terribly.
 

Doc Austin

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I don't know if more races are the answer. As it is Ginetta has seen the green one solitary time and Dragon is so tight on funding they miss a race every time they wad the car up. More races means the teams have to spend more money, and since we are down to seven or eight prototypes, we don't need to run any more out.

If we are going to have more races, we are going to need cars that are cheaper to run. For example, European LeMans series has 35 full P2/P3 prototypes. I don't see what would be wrong with going that way. The only thing we would be giving up is Ginetta who can't make the races (but have a nice P2 they could run), and teams that would probably go back to P2 anyway. No one will miss Toyota.

It's good news the ACO is willing to discuss adopting some of DPI compromise. I just hope they leave the door open for privateer P2 teams.
 

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'Hypercar' faces it day of reckoning this Thursday...of course, it will die because as the article says...there are no detailed rules! So no road-going hypercars, after the manufacturers that pushed for them did so because they think the more purpose-built cars are too expensive. Which leaves you with nothing. Eeesh.

Key meeting to determine fate of WEC hypercar rules
https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/hypercar-crunch-rules-meeting-2020/4388218/

WEC promoter and Le Mans 24 Hours organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the FIA, who jointly write the rules for the series, will ask manufacturers to pledge to build cars for its 2020/21 top category at a technical working group meeting in Paris on Thursday.

The call follows a change to the original philosophy of a class calling for prototypes that merely looked like hypercars to a twin-pronged approach in which production-based hypercar machinery would compete alongside the purpose-built contenders.

That was the result of a meeting between the rulemakers and Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren, who expressed concern over the potential costs of original prototype category.

None of the three has committed to developing a road-going hypercar for the WEC at a time when there are no detailed rules for the class.
...
 

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'Hypercar' faces it day of reckoning this Thursday...of course, it will die because as the article says...there are no detailed rules! So no road-going hypercars, after the manufacturers that pushed for them did so because they think the more purpose-built cars are too expensive. Which leaves you with nothing. Eeesh.

Key meeting to determine fate of WEC hypercar rules
https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/hypercar-crunch-rules-meeting-2020/4388218/
****** dumb
 

DUN24

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Sidenote: I watched The Gentleman Driver on NF the other night. It chronicles seasons 2015-17ish and is damn good. It made me sad for the LMP2 category tho...
 

Doc Austin

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'Hypercar' faces it day of reckoning this Thursday...of course, it will die because as the article says...there are no detailed rules! So no road-going hypercars, after the manufacturers that pushed for them did so because they think the more purpose-built cars are too expensive. Which leaves you with nothing. Eeesh.
They can string the P1 privateers along for another year or so and then toss them away once they attract some manufacturers. That, or maybe maybe they could actually take the current privateers and give them a place where they can race competitively, thrive and be healthy.

The current P1 privateer cars are pretty cool, wicked fast, and would probably be even faster than the Toyota if they gave them some fuel. I don't know what would be wrong with locking that formula in for, say, five years and see how it grows. I'm betting if they kept the factories out it would be wildly successful.

That or they could get with IMSA and share a common set of DPI/P2 based rules. It's time to do something different from the promise everything and deliver nothing way that the FIA treats it's privateer teams. Privateers have always been the backbone sportscar racing and everyone knows this. The problem is the people pulling the strings get addicted to that manufacturer money and they could give a damm about the little guys.

Now, though, the manufacturers don't seem very interested, so to save face (something the French are good at) we will probably go with the current formula, except maybe they will give Toyota and even bigger advantage.
 

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Yesterday was deadline day for filing 2019/2020 entries. Ginetta filed for two entries, as they have a good amount of interest from several parties:

“Details of the team, drivers and other parts of the package will be released in due course.”

Talks are understood to be underway with a range of potential programme partners for the WEC, Ginetta choosing to secure the entries whilst negotiations continue.
http://www.dailysportscar.com/2019/05/22/two-ginetta-lmp1s-entered-for-2019-20-fia-wec.html

BMW pulled the plug on the factory WEC program. In addition to Ford ending the factory GT programs we're down four cars in GTE-Pro next year, unless MTEK and Multimatic/CGR find a way to continue as privateer efforts.

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2019/05/22/bmw-team-mtek-pulls-out-of-wec.html
 

Doc Austin

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What a trainwreck lol. I'd bet when they get to Le Mans next month they'll announce exactly nothing.

https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/modified-version-of-hypercar-regs-in-discussion/
GT ****boxes competing head to head with prototypes for the win? This is more like a train wreck in a hurricane......on fire.

See, this whole thing was DOA from the beginning. What is worth pointing out here is the French can never, ever admit they made a mistake or any other idea is as good as theirs. Now they are into the saving face mode, which is the only thing they are actually good at. Just to save the embarrassment of no one showing up to race, they are going to promise everyone everything, kind of like how they lied to the privateers in P1 that they would have a fair chance.

I say keep LMP1 and keep the factories out. Have a five year rules cycle. You'de had more prototype entries that you would know what to do with.
 

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GT ****boxes competing head to head with prototypes for the win? This is more like a train wreck in a hurricane......on fire.

See, this whole thing was DOA from the beginning. What is worth pointing out here is the French can never, ever admit they made a mistake or any other idea is as good as theirs. Now they are into the saving face mode, which is the only thing they are actually good at. Just to save the embarrassment of no one showing up to race, they are going to promise everyone everything, kind of like how they lied to the privateers in P1 that they would have a fair chance.

I say keep LMP1 and keep the factories out. Have a five year rules cycle. You'de had more prototype entries that you would know what to do with.
I think the best part is that they still expect this hypercar thing to debut in the 2020/2021 season. Yeah, that's not realistic at all. Basically you have Glickenhaus kind of committed but nothing's final so can they really be committed? Also, taking the hypercar concept - which was supposed to be much slower than LMP1 to begin with - and lower the HP targets and integrating more aero is just going to make them even slower. Not sure I see why that's the preference now.
 

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I guess they're no longer gung-ho on hybrids. Interesting about-face there. It sounds like we'll at least have Aston Martin vs. Toyota, although I'm curious why Aston Martin would run a non-hybrid race version of their hybrid road-going hypercar. I guess we'll find out more Friday.

Hybrids to be Optional in Revised Hypercar Regs
https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/hybrids-to-be-optional-in-revised-hypercar-regs/
 

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A question for the sports car aficionados who have been following the WEC rulesmaking saga...

What is a "Hypercar Prototype" that makes it different from a current "Le Mans Prototype" in terms of chassis, bodywork, and aerodynamics?

I mean I understand the concept of a road-going production hypercar that's modified for racing, although the minimum production requirement of just 20 cars built over two years is quite a joke. But for the non-road-going prototypes... what's the difference between "hypercar prototype" and "just a regular old prototype?"

Hypercar Prototype:
WEC Hypercar Prototype 2021.jpg


LMP1 Prototype:
WEC LMP1 2019.jpg
 

FLRacingFan

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A question for the sports car aficionados who have been following the WEC rulesmaking saga...

What is a "Hypercar Prototype" that makes it different from a current "Le Mans Prototype" in terms of chassis, bodywork, and aerodynamics?

I mean I understand the concept of a road-going production hypercar that's modified for racing, although the minimum production requirement of just 20 cars built over two years is quite a joke. But for the non-road-going prototypes... what's the difference between "hypercar prototype" and "just a regular old prototype?"

Hypercar Prototype:
View attachment 40588

LMP1 Prototype:
View attachment 40590
The most I've been able to understand so far is that the concept of true "prototype" racing has worn out its welcome as far as cost containment and true tech development is concerned, so the philosophy is shifting towards a more marketing-oriented approach, that allows for even the hypercar "prototypes" to have substantially more similarity to its OEM's styling cues and whatnot. Toyota's new car will technically be in the "prototype" category, although it will be built alongside and "based on" the GR Super Sport. Obviously, the car will be substantially heavier as a result (minimum weight of 1100 kg compared to Toyota's current 888 kg). Other than that and the idea of looking like a road car they don't seem to have revealed a lot of the technical details so we'll have to wait on that I guess. Being a hybrid prototype, I understand that Toyota can also only put their hybrid system on the front axle.

 

Doc Austin

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We had a chance to have a one world prototype class and the FIA once again blows up the entire sport.

They have already ruined Formula One so we gotta give them credit for consistency.
 

FLRacingFan

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We had a chance to have a one world prototype class and the FIA once again blows up the entire sport.

They have already ruined Formula One so we gotta give them credit for consistency.
I'm disappointed we still don't have complete unification, but I think they've done something that works for them at least in the interim. Both IMSA and the WEC should be set in their top class for the next few years which is a positive. Some aspects of Hypercar I'm not totally sold on but with it bringing more OEMs back to the top class, so be it. They needed something after this season of Toyota just running around by themselves. Obviously, one set of rules might not be what an OEM is looking for so having another that could appeal should up the number of manufacturers involved at a top level in some capacity. What works for Mazda, Acura, Ford isn't necessarily what Toyota, Aston Martin, McLaren are interested in.
 

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SMP has pulled out of LMP1. Extremely surprised IMO:
https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/smp-racing-withdraws-lmp1-2019/4490798/
Look how bare this entry list is:
Holy mother this is a bad sign. Ferrari-Prosche-Aston Martin are the only three marques in evolved in the GTE Pro and Am... WEC is basically on life support at this time.
Remember that 2 of thiose 6 LMP cas are Ginetta, who I am really pulling for, but haven't had a good record of showing up to race.
 

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The 2019/2020 season is going to be almost impossible to watch. I'll probably skip everything besides Sebring and Le Mans. Even this past season felt like a chore to get through and take away the SMPs and maybe one Rebellion, the Fords, the BMWs, and it's...sparse.
 

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Doc Austin

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Anyone remember the last WEC race thread? Yeah, me neither. Does anyone here even watch it.

WEC has been embarrassingly one sided series, to the point of embarrassment. I thought about simply putting it on to go to sleep by, but wait........... the WEC "success ballast" seems to have crippled the Toyotas, and Rebellion led Ginetta in practice. I don't want to go out on a limb and predict a privateer win, mostly because Toyota is the master of sandbagging, but we could finally have a race on our hands.

It might be good fun.

Nothing on qualifying yet, but that will give us a good idea what to look forward to.

Buemi: Toyota has "no real hope" of Shanghai victory

Shanghai WEC: Rebellion leads Ginetta pair in first practice

Both Toyotas slowed by 2.7s a lap at Shanghai
 

Zerkfitting

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I tried to follow it years ago but found it difficult. I've been trying to follow IMSA more because it is looking more competitive but I've only caught parts of selected races (not even sure what channel they are on).
 

Doc Austin

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In short, Hypercar regs cannot come soon enough.
I don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but those cars are simply not sustainable, not with $30 million budgets. Forget about any privateers for that kind of money. It's going to be a straight up manufacturer battle, with only two manufacturers. One of the manufacturers will bail when they start getting their ass kicked, and then we will have nothing again, kind of like we just went through when Audi and Porsche left. Privateers are not even going to bother. Right not we have four entries, so from a entry standpoint we are better off with what we have

Sadly the LMP1 privateer cars never got a real chance. They are swoopy and fast as hell, probably even faster if WEC gave them some more fuel. They are actually really good cars that are dialed way back. Until this weekend, they have never gotten a fair BOP, and that has cost us entries. SMP so much as said that is specifically why they left, and it's why Rebellion is down to one car, and Dragon Speed was never on solid footing because every time they crash a car they miss a race or two.......all simply because Toyota have such a BOP advantage, and you can't run a business around cars that have no prayer of winning.

What I would have liked to see would be the LMP1 privateer class rules frozen (five years) and allow both privateers and manufacturers to race. We would still have fast, swoopy cars and if the privateers had a chance to win they would swoop in. It would Group C all over in.

If we are going to have Mega GT, I hope it succeeds, but they have written the privateers completely out of it. Can you imagine Rebellion or Ginetta trying to raised $30 million? I hope I am wrong, but then again, we are talking $30 million per car per year.
 

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I tried to follow it years ago but found it difficult. I've been trying to follow IMSA more because it is looking more competitive but I've only caught parts of selected races (not even sure what channel they are on).
I believe all IMSA on NBC and NBC sports, a some of it on IMSA TV.
 

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In short, Hypercar regs cannot come soon enough.
I’m not even sure even that will be enough. Seems like a lot of the big potential OEMs flat-out won’t run top-flight sports car programs unless there’s crossover with IMSA regs. There’s Toyota and Aston Martin and that might be as much as they get. Will they survive off of that for several years? I’m not even sure.

The success handicap system is janky. Too bad their EoT system flopped so badly that this is what it’s come to. I’ll watch Le Mans of course and probably Sebring but most of the rest is generally not up my wheelhouse anymore. Sounds like the Sao Paolo round won’t even happen either.
 

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WEC has been on life support for at least 3 years.
I don't really think anyone cares about WEC anymore, and it can't be profitable for the manufacturers when no one watches.

Toyota is dominating the series with a car that is currently contesting it's fourth season and two of the five GT factory teams left after last season.

WEC doesn't have a future. If manufacturers want to promote EVs, there is Formula E and since F1 uses hybrid engines as well and has much more publicity than WEC, they don't need WEC to promote hybrid cars either.
 

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WEC has been on life support for at least 3 years.
I don't really think anyone cares about WEC anymore, and it can't be profitable for the manufacturers when no one watches.

Toyota is dominating the series with a car that is currently contesting it's fourth season and two of the five GT factory teams left after last season.

WEC doesn't have a future. If manufacturers want to promote EVs, there is Formula E and since F1 uses hybrid engines as well and has much more publicity than WEC, they don't need WEC to promote hybrid cars either.
Sadly, I have a feeling it will only be GT cars after while. Its a shame because WEC is an amazing series, but Formula E is kind of making the series irrelevant at this point. Hypercars and only interesting Aston Martin is sad tbh, I wish VW would make another Bentely backed LMP team. Its a shame because I really like the series and I try to watch it when I get the chance.
 

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Once again the LMP2 cars were the stars of the show, and once again they didn't get the air time they deserved. I guess they get ignored because they don't bring in any manufacturer money. It's a shame because these cars are viciously competitive with each other.

However, the P1 action was much better and the Rebellion had a great scrap with the Toyota early in the race.

It was off the chain to see the Ginettas out front for awhile, and hopefully the next round of BOP chicanery will get them more solidly into the fight. Toyota fought valiantly, but perhaps the last BOP adjustment was a little too much. In general, though, this round was much better than anything we have seen in the last two seasons.

The WEC took 2.7 seconds (or something like that) off the Toyota's pace with the BOP and they were still in the fight and on the lead lap. This shows what an utter farce the BOP has been until this point. They have dialed the Toyotas back or made the privateers faster almost every race since the beginning, and it's only now the cars are on roughly equal footing. Certainly the Toyotas are a bit disadvantaged at the moment, but it's nothing compared to the advantage they have had from the beginning.

Until now no matter what the BOP did, the Toyotas just found more speed and have always been a second or two faster in qualifying, and more in the race. Now they are supposedly "hopeless", which underlines how impossible it is to balance different technologies.Still, the balance was much, much better this time and with the BOP being automatic, maybe next race will be even better.

My DVR only got the last half hour of the first telecast and I have not had a chance to see the final hour yet, but race reports make it sound like it was a good show. WEC going to be a lot more fun if they can keep this up, but you can bet Toyota is going to put WEC under pressure to reverse the "unfair" treatment they are getting. Somewhere along the line if they don't get what they want they will threaten to pull out or skip a race or something. Toyota generally does not play that game, but it's happened with manufacturers so often in the past you have to believe it's just an inevitable pattern.

There is just too much money and too much prestige on the line. Rebellion can lose and it has had virtually zero affect on them, but when Toyota loses they just look bad getting beat by underfunded privateers in cars no ones has ever heard of.

First you have to realize race fans are a very small part of the car buying public, and most of us are smart enough to know this result was driven by Toyota getting the BOP bitchslapping. The general car buying doesn't know and doesn't care......... all they know is Toyota got beat by a team that almost none of them have never heard of. How many Camrys do you think that's going to sell tomorrow? Toyota can't afford to keep spending that $200 million a year if there are not big marques to beat and then they lose to essentially nobody. I don't know what they are getting out of this other than keeping team together and waiting for the new cars.

But, it's all set to change with Mega GT on the way, so we really need to take the time to enjoy what we have right now. The automatic BOP is so complicated I don't pretend to understand it, but it worked this time. Hopefully Rebellion will get slowed a little, and Ginetta will get a boost. We got part of what we wanted this race, but it will be much better if all three teams are truly fighting it out. We all hate BOP, but now that it's getting closer let's hope they hit it right for the next race.

So the final verdict is that WEC has been so bad it made an average race look spectacular, but at least we are now up to average with hope it will get better. That's good enough reason to tune in next time.
 
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