FIA president Jean Todt would like to see between five and seven manufacturers racing in the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, but hinted it may not run to the existing LMP1 regulations in order to attract new entries.

Following Porsche’s withdrawal at the end of last year, Toyota is currently the only manufacturer racing in LMP1, with new regulations set to be drawn up in time for the 2020/21 season in the hope of boosting grid numbers.

Speaking to reporters during a media session ahead of last Saturday’s WEC season-opener at Spa, Todt explained how rising costs has been the cause of the manufacturer exodus in LMP1, but said he was encouraged by the progress being made in outlining the future regulations.

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“It’s a difficult championship to host, and probably the increase in costs have made that so manufacturers have disappeared. We were in a kind of emergency situation,” Todt said.

“Being in an emergency situation, we had to find some innovative solutions to prepare for the future. So that’s where we are.

“I must say I am quite pleased. We’ve been working very constructively and in harmony together, and we’ve been able to find some good solutions with this super championship.

“Clearly by the start of the 2020/21 season, we are quite optimistic to have very good solutions to be able to be proposed.”

Asked how many manufacturers the top class of the WEC would need to be deemed a success, Todt said he could realistically see between five and seven battling at the front of the field.

“In the endurance championship, we have a lot of manufacturers - look in GTE,” Todt said.

"At the top category of the championship, it’s not crazy to think that if we do a good job.

“Taking into account what needs to be taken into account, I could foresee without being over-optimistic, five to seven manufacturers - not in LMP1, in the top category of endurance.”

WEC officials are understood to be considering a shift away from LMP1 regulations in the near future in order to try and stimulate manufacturer interest, with a move towards a more GT-style prototype class thought to be under consideration.

“With LMP1, it’s easy to change a number. At the moment, LMP1 is the top category,” Todt said.

“In the future, we will still have a top category, but it’s not a given that the name will remain the same."

 

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