ACO chairman Pierre Fillon has played down the notion of hybrid technology being introduced in LMP2 cars in the future, saying it’s ‘just a possibility’ based on the architecture of the car.
During Friday’s ACO press conference at Le Mans, Fillon briefly mentioned hybrid power as a potential remote option for the second-tier prototype formula.
He later explained that there is “no timetable” for the integration of an electric motor into the powertrain for the next generation of LMP2 cars which will last from 2025 to 2030.
These cars will be developed by four Nominated Manufacturers – Dallara, Ligier Automotive, Multimatic and ORECA – and will use the same base as the LMDh cars currently produced by the same companies in partnership with road car brands.
LMDh cars contain a specific Bosch generating set producing a constant output of 50kW, in addition to an internal combustion engine of the road car company’s choice.
The hybrid system is complemented by a seven-speed Xtrac transmission and a Williams Advanced Engineering battery.
As for the potential for hybrid technology in LMP2, which is traditionally an internal combustion formula, Fillon told Sportscar365 that no firm plans are in place.
“There’s no timeline, it’s just a possibility,” he said. “Because we are using the backbone of the LMDh, we have the space to put a hybrid [system]. We do not know.
“For the moment, we don’t want to talk about a hybrid in LMP2.
“But we are talking about 2030, so if maybe in 2029, we will be forced to have a hybrid system, but it will be something very simple, cheap. Nothing to do with LMDh, for example.
“It’s just a possibility. I’m not saying we want to put a hybrid [system] in LMP2.
ACO competition director Thierry Bouvet called the notion of hybrid technology in LMP2 “suggestive” and said the state of wider efficiency regulations in the automotive market is likely to play a role. a key role.
The European Union last year made a proposal for a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035, effectively banning the sale of new fossil fuel cars after that date and further encouraging the production of electric vehicles.
“I think [Pierre] says we leave the door open,” Bouvet said.
“The next generation of LMP2 [run] from 2025 to 2030. What motorsport will look like [then]? It’s far ahead, so we have to be a little careful. It goes quickly.
Hugues de Chaunac, the president of ORECA which currently dominates the LMP2 market, has come out in favor of the ACO and the FIA maintaining the same basic car architecture for LMP2 and LMDh, which would then leave open the hybrid integration option.
“I think it’s a good thing to at least be prepared,” de Chaunac told Sportscar365.
“Maybe it can happen in 2029 or 2030; we do not know. But it’s good to be prepared for it.
“And it’s easy because we have a common backbone with LMDh. I think it would be a mistake if they changed the spine [specifically] for LMP2.
“I think the fact that they decided to keep it, and that we pushed for it, is a good idea and in case of [adding a hybrid system] It’s ready.”