IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) and the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) have announced a joint endeavor.
Yeah, don’t worry, I have some reservations as well. I’ll wait until I see both of these series on the same racetrack for an official event before I get my juices flowing as they have a long history of not seeing eye to eye.
Most recently as 2017.
The announcement today is about both series coming together to create a top international prototype class. It will allow teams and manufacturers from both series to compete in events like the 24 Hours of Daytona, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and collect championship points for both IMSA and WEC competition.
This endeavor will combine IMSA’s developing LMDh class, slated to be introduced in 2021, and will complete an official take over of the DPi prototypes in 2022. ACO’s much-anticipated Hypercar class is still geared for its debut this season. There will be a BOP (balance of performance) for races when both series prototypes enter into the same event.
According to an official IMSA article, “both parties were inspired by elements of both series regulations.”
The result of this convergence, the LMDh car will be :
- Based on a new chassis common to both ACO and IMSA, using elements of the Le Mans Hypercar and LMP2 chassis, and built by the four current LMP2 manufacturers: Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca. This chassis will also be used for the new generation LMP2.
- The car will use a common hybrid KERS system, on the rear axle.
- Its silhouette and design will be modifiable, developed according to the brand or style of the manufacturer which will provide the engine power for the car
More technical details will be delivered in March during SuperSebring as both IMSA and ACO officials will give a more in-depth presentation then.
The joint endeavor is fantastic news for endurance racing. Not only for the fans but drivers and manufacturers. This announcement allows for prototypes to take to the spotlight again in European racing and allows a team like Wayne Taylor Racing and their Cadillac a chance at Le Mans glory. That thought gave me some chills.
And yes, babe, for the betterment of endurance racing, this relationship needs to be different this time.
p.s. LMDh has yet to be officially defined. My best guess, it’ll mean Le Mans Daytona Hybrid. Let me know your theories in the comments!