The Autombile Club l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have announced a joint agreement that will allow one car to compete for victory in both series.
The joint regulations will allow competitors in the top categories to race one another at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 Hours, Sebring and Spa races with a new Le Mans Daytona (LMDh) model of car.
Cars will compete in the planned hypercar WEC category and the new LMDh class will be eligible to both WEC and ISMA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors.
The new cars will be able to compete from the 2021/22 WEC and the 2022 IMSA season, and the balance of performance system will apply.
Each LMDh car will use a common hybrid KERS system. The chassis will combine elements of the current LMP2 cars and the new Le Mans Hypercars. Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca — the existing LMP2 suppliers — will manufacture them.
Engine suppliers will be able to modify the design to more closely resemble road-going cars. Further specifications of the new category will be revealed later this year
“This announcement today is the crucial starting point for a joint endurance racing future, supported by both the ACO and IMSA,” said Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO.
“A manufacturer will soon be able to compete in the top category of two championships, the FIA WEC and the WeatherTech Championship.
“We can’t emphasise enough, as it’s exceptional, how many opportunities this long-term sporting and marketing vision will open up.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of WEC, added that the move would open up endurance racing and allow greater competition between manufacturers.
“The big winner today is endurance racing as the door is now opened to many additional competitors to compete at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic with the same car.
“The two sanctioning bodies should be congratulated for their vision and spirit of collaboration. Le Mans Hypercars and the new LMDh cars racing together at Le Mans or Daytona will be an incredibly exciting prospect for endurance fans across the world.”