Grid increased, Hypercar rules extended, hydrogen delayed

Display board at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans

The ACO announced a variety of new measures at its traditional annual press conference at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They include an extension to the Hypercar rules as well as clarification on the “two-car requirement” for 2025.

Hypercar rules through to 2029

The regulations for the Hypercar class, which have attracted a record number of manufacturers to the top category of sportscar racing, have been extended by a further two years until 2029.

The decision creates greater stability for entrants under the current Hypercar rules and a longer window of competition for manufacturers looking to build cars eligible for the class. Manufacturers will be permitted a further two development cycles (or “jokers”), one in 2028 and one in 2029, to account for the two-year extension.

Two-car requirement confirmed for 2025

The ACO also confirmed that manufacturers will be mandated to run two cars in Hypercar from 2025. This will increase the size of the grid to a record 40 cars from 2025 for all races except Le Mans, where 62 cars are currently permitted.

Of the current competitors, the new regulation will primarily affect the likes of Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini, who are both running a single-car entry in the 2024 season.

It will also have an effect on the Heart of Racing, which had floated the idea of running just one Aston Martin Hypercar in the WEC next year. All three manufacturers have indicated that they are willing to commit to running two cars in 2025.

Hydrogen regulations delayed

A further delay in the new hydrogen regulations was also announced at Le Mans. The new rules have now been pushed back to 2028 as the ACO continues to explore hydrogen technology to achieve zero-carbon motor racing.

A working group has been set up to hash out the details of the new ruleset, with confirmation also of the fact that the hydrogen used in the class will be in liquid form.

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Images (c) Maksym Lobachov / WEC-Magazin