The future of the WEC

Kiante

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Glickenhaus as of right now will be at Portimao:

Just one car this time around, but anything to get their stream of race data collection started will be a plus for this team. They are still expecting to run two cars this season on a regular basis.
 

Doc Austin

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And IMSA, and Indycar too? Looks like a hell of a weekend.

Portimao is not a super long high speed track like Spa. I would hope the P2 cars stand a better chance this weekend. I suspect they will leave the BOP alone after the scare the P2 cars put into them at Spa during practice. The FIA can't allow their beloved hypercars to ever get beat.
 

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And IMSA, and Indycar too? Looks like a hell of a weekend.

Portimao is not a super long high speed track like Spa. I would hope the P2 cars stand a better chance this weekend. I suspect they will leave the BOP alone after the scare the P2 cars put into them at Spa during practice. The FIA can't allow their beloved hypercars to ever get beat.
The BOP for the Hypercar is kind of wonky with Glickenhaus coming in:

Alpine and Toyota are a bit heavier and will lose a few HP. Toyota will be smacked heavily across the RPM range.
 

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Good news they slowed the hypercars. I'de love to see a P2 car pick off a win or two this season.
 

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Here is an update on a few possible LMH/LMDh marques:

Seems like the Bentley LMDh was shelved, Bentley will probably replace Audi in Formula E as Bentley is going to be an "all-electric" marque. Alpine still has their grandfathered LMP1 and still have not confirmed if they will go the LMH or LMDh route. IMHO, I think it would be smart for Alpine to go the LMDh route with a sportscar vet and it will give their juniors (Zhou, Lundgaard, Pistari, etc.) an opportunity to have options and not be waiting in the wings for an F1 seat.
 

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Here is an update on a few possible LMH/LMDh marques:

Seems like the Bentley LMDh was shelved, Bentley will probably replace Audi in Formula E as Bentley is going to be an "all-electric" marque. Alpine still has their grandfathered LMP1 and still have not confirmed if they will go the LMH or LMDh route. IMHO, I think it would be smart for Alpine to go the LMDh route with a sportscar vet and it will give their juniors (Zhou, Lundgaard, Pistari, etc.) an opportunity to have options and not be waiting in the wings for an F1 seat.
SC365 also said Cadillac are waiting to finish up contracts with partner teams before announcing, otherwise they likely would’ve announced at Detroit.

I think come Le Mans in August they’ll probably announce no GTE-Pro class in WEC anymore, don’t think there’s a need for it with Porsche and Ferrari moving back to prototypes.
 

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SC365 also said Cadillac are waiting to finish up contracts with partner teams before announcing, otherwise they likely would’ve announced at Detroit.

I think come Le Mans in August they’ll probably announce no GTE-Pro class in WEC anymore, don’t think there’s a need for it with Porsche and Ferrari moving back to prototypes.
Going GT3 across the board will be the best bet. The interchangeability will be good for the health of sportscars in the long run, GTE had a great run, but without OEM support there... It's honestly the best to either merge or continue to keep a "Pro" class and a "Pro-Am" class.

We'll see what happens though, but I'm liking the direction WEC is going.
 

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Peugeot is revealing their Hypercar on July 6th:

Also, McLaren has ruled out a return to WEC in 2023. It's understandable as well, it gives Zak more time to gauge over the possibility with United Autosport and with McLaren's resurgence in F1, a solid IndyCar program, and selling customer sports cars (GT4 primarily). Not to mention McLaren was on the verge of bankruptcy at one point, so hopefully they look over the possibility and if its not a plausible program, then no worries. I would like to see McLaren and Mercedes collaborate again in the sports car world.
 

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Peugeot is revealing their Hypercar on July 6th:

Also, McLaren has ruled out a return to WEC in 2023. It's understandable as well, it gives Zak more time to gauge over the possibility with United Autosport and with McLaren's resurgence in F1, a solid IndyCar program, and selling customer sports cars (GT4 primarily). Not to mention McLaren was on the verge of bankruptcy at one point, so hopefully they look over the possibility and if its not a plausible program, then no worries. I would like to see McLaren and Mercedes collaborate again in the sports car world.
It still sounds optimistic for an McLaren-ORECA LMDh starting in 2024. Just not a program that starts any sooner or later. Lamborghini is another one that would maybe debut a year later in 2024.
 

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Peugeot is revealing their Hypercar on July 6th:
Graham Goodwin says this one is supposed to look pretty unique, so I’m pretty stoked to see it. Also Peugeot are apparently working with Ligier on this, and Ferrari with Dallara on theirs, so all of the big constructors have solid business going on right now.

With Multimatic working to support up to eight entries on each side of the pond in 2023 the top class is really going to explode after years of Toyotathon. Two factory Porsches with Penske, two customer Porsches, two factory Audis, two customer Audis in both IMSA and WEC for a total of 16 entries globally come 2023 sounds like the plan according to SC365.
 

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Peugeot reveals 9X8 Hypercar | RACER

I'll find some more pictures, but this is all we have for now.

I know it looks odd without a rear wing, but it looks like the mounts are there. My guess is they will run it on high downforce tracks.

Then again, maybe they are just playing with us and they don't want to reveal the wing just yet.




 

Doc Austin

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.......... so all of the big constructors have solid business going on right now.
I hope the WEC does not make the mistake of letting the manufacturers hoard their equipment like is happening in IMSA. You have one solitary Mazda, and no one can actually buy one. Not sure how that keeps the chassis manufacturer in business, you know selling cares and all.

You can't buy an Acura either. They gave a couple to Penske and after two championship, they just hand them off to new teams. Oreca sold a big two chassis, you know, as compared to the ton of P2 cars they sold. Only Cadillac has stepped up and sold cars to privateers, and even then Chip had to settle for a used one, How do the chassis manufacturers make any money selling just two or three cars to just manufacturers?

So, what we will probably end up with are two Toyotas that no one can buy, two Peugeots that no one will be able to buy, and a few Glickenhas you might be able to buy if you want to run at the back. Ferrari is probably not going to show (they are always threatening to go sportscar or Indycar, (and then they never do), particularly if the Peugeot runs well.

No, I think we need a 10 or 15 car homologation rule. Back in the 70s (and we all remember "LeMans" the movie), 25 production examples were required. Privateer Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512s were showing up all over the place, and before that a privateer could buy a Lola T70, a Ford GT40, and Porsche was building so many cars that every race you'de have your choice of nearly brand new, one race old Porsches 907, 908 and 910s available. There were so many cars floating around the privateers were really thriving.

See, factories were required to build 25 (before 1968, it was 50), so instead of letting expensive new prototypes sit there and rot at the factory, the manufacturers sold them to privateers. THAT's why sportscar racing as so big in the 60s and early 70s. That's why we need a homologation number now, though it's too late to change the rules.

Nope, looks like the privateers are going to have to race P2 because you simply will never be able to buy a competitive hypersled. Privateers will be forced to race IMSA, except as of right now, I don't believe the factories are required to sell cars, so we'll end up with the same six car mess we have here now.

It's hard to believe the people running the sport are so damm stupid they have completely forgotten what made sportscar racing so great, which has always been the privateers.
 

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That, and while a hypercar looks cool, if it's not much faster than a P2 car you have to wonder what they are spending $35 million on.

Honestly, I don't understand why this class was necessary except for the hybrid contingent to save face after LMP1h turned out to cost $200 million. Conversely, we see how effectively and cheaply you can jam a 5.5 liter V8 in a Dallara and go like hell. Why do the hypercars have to cost $35 million?

I'm not trying to wreck everyone's buzz because I want sportscar racing to succeed, but now we have not only locked the privateers out by making the cars unavailable., but now they cost so much very, very few privateers could buy one even if they were for sale.
 

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That, and while a hypercar looks cool, if it's not much faster than a P2 car you have to wonder what they are spending $35 million on.

Honestly, I don't understand why this class was necessary except for the hybrid contingent to save face after LMP1h turned out to cost $200 million. Conversely, we see how effectively and cheaply you can jam a 5.5 liter V8 in a Dallara and go like hell. Why do the hypercars have to cost $35 million?

I'm not trying to wreck everyone's buzz because I want sportscar racing to succeed, but now we have not only locked the privateers out by making the cars unavailable., but now they cost so much very, very few privateers could buy one even if they were for sale.
LMH certainly doesn’t exist if Aston Martin didn’t commit out of the gate along with Toyota. If they had even just pulled the plug sooner it probably doesn’t. There was a ‘Plan B’ in place had there not been a second OEM commitment that actually would’ve meant global DPi. Once Peugeot committed it was too far along to go back though. They and Ferrari have significantly bolstered the prospects of the rule set and I think their presence is actually a good thing, it’s good to see radically different designs and a sense of ingenuity that won’t been seen in LMDh.

Both LMH and LMDh are already successful in their own ways, and we will see double-digit car counts in the top class in both IMSA and WEC, and a massive bunch at Le Mans. Factories, semi-works, and privateer teams will all have a presence…IMO, there’s a lot more to look forward to than to be afraid of.
 

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Seeing the Peugeot changed my mind on hypercars. If they are all going to be that cool, or as pretty as the Alpine, I'm all for it. I just hope they can get the costs under control. Maybe we won't have a ton of them, but we will have a ton of LMDh cars racing with them. It's going to be a decent spectacle.

Funny though how the Peugeot is so advanced and so hyper, and the the Alpine is so nostalgic. The Peugeot looks more like a battering ram than it does a racecar, but I like it. The Alpine is just sweet, and I hope it's for real.
 

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Doc Austin

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Alpine is running a rebadged Rebellion, and it's hard to believe they aren't preparing for hyper car or LMDh. I think they are sitting on the fence waiting to see how hypercars and LMDh are going to play out. Whichever one flourishes, that's probably where they will go.
 

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Alpine is running a rebadged Rebellion, and it's hard to believe they aren't preparing for hyper car or LMDh. I think they are sitting on the fence waiting to see how hypercars and LMDh are going to play out. Whichever one flourishes, that's probably where they will go.
Sounds like LMDh. Must have committed to the organizers already, just will wait a bit longer to do the announcement.

***Sportscar365 understands that Alpine will become the sixth LMDh manufacturer for 2023, likely aligning with ORECA. It would mean each LMP2 constructor, except for Ligier, would have two manufacturers apiece for the opening season of the formula. Both BMW and Cadillac are understood to be going with Dallara.
 

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Sounds like LMDh. Must have committed to the organizers already, just will wait a bit longer to do the announcement.

With the new 400 Z or "Z" and a new GT-R to be released in the next three years, I wonder if Nissan would look to rebadge the Alpine LMDh in the US? The new Z is slated to retire the GT-R (in SuperGT), but I have a feeling with Nissan still rebuilding and rebranding after a tumultuous past three years or so... It might be a pipe dream, but maybe just maybe this could be Nissan's chance to jump back in the WEC/IMSA ranks.

Or is Renault pushing the marketing for the Alpine brand, which really needs it.
 

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With the new 400 Z or "Z" and a new GT-R to be released in the next three years, I wonder if Nissan would look to rebadge the Alpine LMDh in the US? The new Z is slated to retire the GT-R (in SuperGT), but I have a feeling with Nissan still rebuilding and rebranding after a tumultuous past three years or so... It might be a pipe dream, but maybe just maybe this could be Nissan's chance to jump back in the WEC/IMSA ranks.

Or is Renault pushing the marketing for the Alpine brand, which really needs it.
That’s why I found it interesting Nissan has taken hold of an LMP2 chassis in Japan recently, there was never any sort of corporate involvement in the Nissan DPi programs by Nissan or Nissan USA. This would be as good a time as ever to do a rebadge like Stellantis might or build upon the same platform like the VW Group brands are.
 

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So, GTE is here until 2024.

Also, WEC wants to "prohibit" factory teams... It's going to be funny seeing Ferrari under "AF Course or Iron Lynx", Corvette under another moniker, or Aston as Prodrive. I'm not sure how they will full dismantle "factory" teams from the select OEMs that partake in it.
 

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So, GTE is here until 2024.

Also, WEC wants to "prohibit" factory teams... It's going to be funny seeing Ferrari under "AF Course or Iron Lynx", Corvette under another moniker, or Aston as Prodrive. I'm not sure how they will full dismantle "factory" teams from the select OEMs that partake in it.
Bronze mandate, possibly.

I'm not sure if I hate the idea in general or not but I definitely hate the thought of Corvette not running a factory team at Le Mans. Understandably, they want to funnel factory efforts into LMH/LMDh but GM will still want to run two factory efforts under two different brands for the forseeable future. I don't think this would happen if grid space weren't looking to become a major issue either.
 

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While we are discussing the future of the WEC, let's look at some of it's past. The first season of Group C featured some left over cars from the previous era that were updated. Kremer took a 936 and fit it with a roof to comply with the new rules. Remember, the 956 was not available to customers just yet, so privateers were forced to take what they had and make it work..............

I believe there was also a Joest conversion, but I never came across a model of one.
 

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Doc Austin

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Speaking of the WEC, I think it is a mistake that they are only counting the last few years. The world sportscar championship was not always called the WEC but it has always been the world sportscar championship. What they have done is divorce themselves from the days of the Ford GT40, Porsche 917, and the entire Group C era. I think they need to claim lineage to those eras.

Here's the Joest. It's a bit sleeker and more elegant. Imagine it without a roof and it's easy to see a 936.

 

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WEC needs to claim lineage to the old world manufacturers championship, or whatever it was called. Why would they divorce themselves from it?

Why wouldn't you want these cars as part of your history?
 

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Doc Austin

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Or this car....................
 

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Doc Austin

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No sportscar racing this weekend, but we can still dream, right?

First is a Torno 956 or 962..... don't remember, maybe lemans 1985-86 or so. I had a decal set, so I stripped a Minichamps 965, cleaned it up, repainted, decaled, clear coated and detailed. Almost as nice as a hand built. By the time I built this, 965 resin kits were getting scarce, and these were available and the best solution.

Castrol Jaguar, Daytona 24 hours winner, 1989. Supremely rare kit.

Nissan GTP, Eliot Forbes Robinson, 1986 or 87. Virtually impossible to find a kit any more.

All of these were built at least 20 years ago, so memory is a little vague on exactly when and rare they raced.
 

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Kiante

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So, Cadillac is going overseas. Seems like AXR will be in charge of the IMSA project and Ganassi will run the WEC program with the LMDh:

Also, GM will not have a customer program its first season for the LMDh class.
 
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