24 Hours of Le Mans: Saturday News Roundup

June 10, 2022

by Connor Kay

While no running took place on the eve of this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, there was still plenty of news to break regarding not just tommorow a race, but also the future of the entire WEC.

ACO outlines future of LMP2 and GT3 classes

The ACO kicked the day’s news off with their annual press conference. Throughout the presentation they outlined how the future of the LMP2 and new GT3 classes will look as well as providing updates on the WEC calendar going forward and the forthcoming hydrogen project.

The next generation of LMP2 will come into effect in 2025 with all 4 LMDh chassis manufacturers, Ligier, Oreca, Multimatic and Dallara having the opportunity to be represented. A bi-annual ‘Adjustment of Performance’ process will be used to keep all four manufacturers competitive throughout their 5 year homologation cycle, aiming to avoid the single manufacturer heavy grids of recent years.

GTE Pro will meet its end at the conclusion of this season, with its amateur counterpart following in 2023. From 2024 a brand new GT3 based class will take effect, featuring only Pro-Am lineups as well as a special ‘Le Mans Performance Package’ to differentiate the WEC class from the many currently existing GT3 series.

Also announced was a 5 year contract extension with the Barhain circuit that will see the WEC race at the venue until at least 2027, as well as an update on the forthcoming hydrogen class, that despite growing concerns, is still scheduled to debut in 2025.

Ferrari release LMH teaser image

Ferrari released a teaser image of it’s upcoming WEC Hypercar challenger, confirming that it does in fact have headlights.

While the team are clearly giving very little away about the upcoming project at this stage, a full reveal should be on the way shortly with the car expected to begin track testing next month.

The prancing horse will then return to the top flight of sports car racing for the first time in 50 years with an AF Corse run assault on the WEC from 2023 onwards.

Nick De Vries Makes Last Minute Substitution For TDS

Following the steward’s decision to block Philippe Cimadomo from competing in tomorrow’s 24 Hours of Le Mans due to ‘not driving to the standard required to safely participate in the remainder of the event’ in the free practice running, Toyota reserve and F2 and Formula E champion, Nick de Vries has stepped up to complete the #13 TDS Racing’s lineup.

De Vries, who has already competed at Le Mans with Racing Team Netherland and was onsite as Toyota’s designated reserve driver, will have to complete at least three laps in tomorrow’s warm up session in order to be eligible to race.

  With the driver substitution, the TDS x Vaillante car will move from LMP2 Pro-Am to LMP2.

Alpine Handed Power Reduction Ahead Tommorow's Race

Following a BOP boost ahead of hyperpole for the #36 Alpine, which gifted the team a 7kW power boost to bring them within 3kW of their Sebring winning output, the team have being pegged back again with a further 10kW power reduction ahead of tomorrow’s race.

The team qualified 3rd on Friday, ending up four tenths of the #8 Toyota’s pole setting time.

The power reduction comes with a 32MJ stint energy reduction, giving the team a net 21MJ loss over their test day BOP.

Circuit de La Sarthe Opens to Public For First Time

In a new event to the Le Mans schedule, the open pit lane was accompanied with the entire Circuit de la Sarthe opening for public, allowing non motorised visitors to complete an entire lap of the legendary circuit.

Having done just that, I can confirm it is an extremely long way round.

The open circuit was accompanied with entertainment around the track, including a car show on the mullsanne and an opportunity to see the trophy at the Dunlop bridge.

Photo Credit: Ferrari Races


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