In 2020 the WEC is getting a regulation change. The current LMP1 cars will be ditched and new "Hypercars" introduced. However, pessimism is rife regarding these new regulations and the amount of new manufacturers they can bring in. So I'm going to take a look at some of the car companies that are likely to join and some that aren't...
It's no secret that Porsche are WEC royalty. Having won 3 WEC titles with their legendary 919 LMP1 car, they have cemented their place in the racing hall of fame. Do I think Porsche will be returning to the WEC with these new regulations? No. As sad as it is, I don't see Porsche latching on to the new 2020 regulations purely because they have moved onto other motorsports. For the 2019/2020 season of Formula E, Porsche will be a fully fledged factory team and hopefully be at the front of the pack.
From the titans of endurance racing to the underdogs, Aston Martin is a brand that has won a handful of WEC races with their GTE programme, but they haven't been prevalent at the front of the field. In 2020 this could all change with the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Red Bull have already said that if the 2021 F1 regulation change doesn't take their fancy, they would move to WEC with the Valkyrie. For a road car, the Valkyrie is as close to a race car as you can get without having to wear fire proof undies and dumping the number plates in the bin. This means it would be a perfect candidate for these new regulations. I mean. Look at that livery!
McLaren doesn't have a huge history of endurance racing, but they do have a very illustrious F1 track record (obviously not a recent track record). Could they move into the WEC in 2020? Provided they take some focus off their F1 team, it could be a possibility. The Speedtail would make the ideal "Hypercar" for the 2020 WEC season. Especially as it harks back to the iconic F1. Yet, if McLaren decide they don't want to take their foot off the gas in F1, I don't see a WEC campaign happening.
Toyota have been in the WEC since 2012 and it seems they want to stay. They even made a concept of their 2020 racer (see above). As of late, Toyota have been the only LMP1 Hybrid car in the WEC field since Porsche and Audi left (2017 and 2016 respectively). As a result, Toyota has been experiencing success. Apart from the 6 hours of Silverstone, where they pushed the limits and got disqualified. Toyota will most likely stay in the WEC with the new regs.
Thank you very much for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed!
-Joseph Le Corre-