The 24 Hours of Le Mans race takes place this weekend in France, and recent regulatory changes are bringing in more name-brand auto manufacturers.
The introduction of the hypercar category into the FIA World Endurance Championship series is the catalyst for the shift. Hypercars are intended to resemble prototypes of future models, so car manufacturers can showcase and test their concepts.
- Peugeot said it would enter the race’s hypercar category in 2022, with Ferrari following in 2023.
- Porsche, Audi, Acura, and BMW will compete in sister class Le Mans Daytona h in 2023.
- General Motors has indicated that Cadillac may be on its way in, as well.
The new regulations, designed to create more parity among racers, provide tight controls on downforce, drag, and engine power.
The endurance series, like Formula 1, sees racers compete around the globe on tracks such as Spa in Belgium, Silverstone in England, Monza in Italy, and Fuji in Japan. Teams vie to cover the greatest distance in a set amount of time, as opposed to finishing a set length.
Most races last six-to-eight hours. Le Mans is the outlier at 24 hours. Attendance at the day-long race will be held to around 50,000 — 20% of its normal capacity of a quarter million.