The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have reached an agreement to find common ground for convergence between its future top categories in endurance racing.

ACO, responsible for Le Mans 24 Hours within the World Endurance Championship, has previously revealed its new top tier category named the Hypercar class set to debut in 2020-2021 and now a new formula called Le Mans Daytona h, LMDh, which will be run in both WEC and IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

LMDh will oversee joint regulations established by the ACO and IMSA, using chassis elements from both Le Mans Hypercar and LMP2 with its silhouette and design modifiable to suit the brand or style of manufacturer which provides the engine of the car. All cars will also use a common hybrid KERS system on the rear axle.

Full technical details on the new LMDh class will be presented next March at the Super Sebring round.

Both Le Mans Hypercar and the new LMDh categories will also be permitted to race each other with a balance of performance system installed to provide equal competition. LMDh is expected to replace the DPi class in IMSA.

“This announcement today is the crucial starting point for a joint endurance racing future, supported by both the ACO and IMSA,” Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said. “The platform represents the convergence achieved by both organisations which is a great success story for endurance racing.

“A manufacturer will soon be able to compete in the top category of two championships, the FIA WEC and the WeatherTech Championship. We can’t emphasise enough, as it’s exceptional, how many opportunities this long-term sporting and marketing vision will open up.”

The announcement was made during the build-up to the 2020 Daytona 24 Hours which starts the new WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

“On the eve of IMSA’s 51st season of competition, future race fans will regard today as one of the most significant of all time for IMSA, the ACO and the world of sports car racing,” John Doonan, IMSA President, said.

“Providing a common platform for top-level prototype racing globally has been a goal for the sanctioning bodies, our manufacturers – and most importantly, sports car racing fans everywhere – for many years, and we are proud to say the opportunity has finally arrived. We are grateful for the collaboration with our partners at the ACO and the open dialogue with our manufacturer partners that led us to today’s introduction of the LMDh platform.”

The LMDh category will require finalising and ratifying by the FIA World Motor Sport Council before it can be introduced from the WEC 2021-2022 season and the 2022 IMSA campaign.

 

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