WEC
ACO and IMSA seal agreement
Photo Credit: Mike Meadows/IMSA

ACO and IMSA seal agreement

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and North America’s sanctioning body for endurance racing, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), have announced an agreement has been reached for a common future with convergence of the top categories of endurance racing. 

During the same weekend of the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the two sanctioning bodies unveiled the guiding principle for this platform – the introduction as the top category of competition of LMDh, which will be eligible for both the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  This joint platform responds to the wishes of numerous manufacturers. 

The chance for automotive manufacturers to compete with the same car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, at SuperSebring or at Spa-Francorchamps, at the Motul Petit Le Mans or even Silverstone, will soon become a reality.

The ACO and IMSA have together established the basis for joint regulations to govern the new LMDh category.  The objective is that, from September 2021 in the FIA WEC and from January 2022 in the WeatherTech Championship, manufacturers will be able to enter the top category and compete in the two leading championships in endurance racing with this new model of car, LMDh. 

The two sanctioning bodies were inspired by elements from each of their respective regulations, namely from the ACO’s Le Mans Hypercar and those in preparation by IMSA for the DPi 2.0.

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.

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. The car will use a common hybrid KERS system, on the rear axle.

More technical details for the car will be revealed in March at SuperSebring, in a presentation from the ACO and IMSA Technical Departments. 

In the future the top category of endurance racing will include both LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar.  A balance of performance system will ensure fair competition.  

In image, Jim France, IMSA Chairman, and Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO.

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