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Further details on the 2020 LMP1 regulations, and news on LMP1 non-hybrid, are expected to be revealed at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to ACO President Pierre Fillon.
Fillon confirmed that a roadmap for the top prototype ranks, including the non-hybrid category, will be presented during the ACO’s annual press conference, which will now take place on Friday of race week, instead of the traditional Thursday.
“We’ll have some news about LMP1 non-hybrid and [2020] hybrid rules at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Fillon told Sportscar365.
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“We are working. The only thing that we can say right now is that there’s an open discussion. Everyone is in very good spirits.”
While talks have continued between current LMP1 manufacturers Porsche and Toyota, as well as Peugeot, which could rejoin the top class in 2020, Fillon said the main focus has been on cost reduction.
Peugeot is understood to be working on a comeback, but only if costs are significantly slashed from the current budgets, which are understood to be in excess of $100 million annually.
Fillon said they have a target cost reduction in mind but are not ready to reveal details.
“We need to reduce the costs, to maintain the performance… and to keep a certain level of technology,” he said.
The ACO President said he doesn’t envision a reduction in hybrid technology in 2020, but also not necessarily an increase, as has been on the table for next year, with the planned introduction of a third hybrid system and 10MJ hybrid subclass.
Those plans were scrapped late last year in favor of freezing the current LMP1 regulations through the 2019 season.
“We’ve proven that you don’t need to have three or four [hybrid] systems,” Fillon said. “You can have one or two.
“Two hybrid systems is not double the costs of one hybrid system.”
Both Fillon and FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu, meanwhile, said it would be “impossible” to see a dedicated DPi class within the championship or at Le Mans in the near future.
However, Fillon said that details on a potential engine-related evolution in LMP1 non-hybrid could also be revealed at Le Mans in June.
When asked if LMP1 non-hybrid regulations could be opened up to more easily accept DPis, Fillon said, “you’ll have to wait for the press conference.”
Neveu, meanwhile, said that a number of elements are currently under discussion.
“We have to be careful that we provide the fairest regulation categories and respect the identity of each category,” he told Sportscar365.
“For LMP1, we have to find the perfect identity for the future.”
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