Does the Deluge of New Hypercars Hint at a Return for GT1 Racing?


It is been hard not too long ago to open up a motoring web site, or vehicle magazine, without having looking at some new hypercar.

We don’t necessarily mean matters like the Bugatti Chiron or report-breaking Koenigsegg Agera RS. They are certainly pushing the outer edges of the performance envelope, but they’re still unmistakably highway automobiles.

No, the new breed of hypercars is a little something totally different: racing automobiles with indicators.

Consider one seem at the Mercedes Venture One particular, for example. Ok, so there’s a form of highway vehicle shape to it, but at its heart it’s Lewis Hamilton’s weekend journey. Mercedes-AMG has taken an F1 car’s 1.6-liter petrol engine and KERS hybrid method and positioned it into a two-seat vehicle with a roof. Certainly, there’s some concessions to day by day use — we’re not sure anybody would invest in a vehicle that desires a new engine every thousand miles — but which is the fundamental recipe.

It is a shorter hop from Mercedes-AMG’s F1 foundation in Brackley to Gaydon. There Aston Martin, with Purple Bull’s F1 crew, is making an even stranger vehicle. The Valkyrie appears to be a great deal much more like an F1 vehicle — albeit with a cockpit — but totes a much more standard 6.5-liter V12. Yet again, this vehicle makes use of a large amount of F1 technology in its building.

Toyota much too is obtaining in on the act. It might not have an F1 crew any more time, but it is the last company still left in LMP1. Its racing crew, Gazoo Racing, is reportedly doing the job on a supercar tentatively dubbed the GR Super Sport. There’s no detail on this however aside from a silhouette — which appears to be remarkably like an LMP1 vehicle — but that on your own hints at a peer for the Aston and Mercedes. Toyota has kind in all of a sudden conjuring up a excellent supercar from nowhere try to remember the Lexus LFA or, madder still, the TS020 homologation distinctive?

That is not an close to it either. Equally BMW and Audi are reportedly considering their possess rivals. This might just be to include off what Mercedes is up to — immediately after all, the three German models do tend to lead each other into new sectors — but it’s unlikely that five vehicle makers independently make a decision to construct particularly the similar type of vehicle at once.

What could it trace at if not a coincidence? Nicely, it might be one of the arms of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, but the 24 Hrs of Le Mans appears to be in a bit of problems at the instant. The FIA Earth Endurance Championship, which functions the famous race as a flagship celebration, is suffering from a absence of competitiveness in its leading group, LMP1.

This ferociously high priced formulation has viewed manufacturers dropping like flies. Peugeot give up to target on rally, Nissan give up since its vehicle was horrible, and Audi and Porsche give up for reasons we’re sure are not linked to VW’s restructuring immediately after Dieselgate.

That just leaves Toyota, which will contend in its 20th Le Mans next year but is however to earn. For 2018 (and 2019, many thanks to the 18-thirty day period “superseason”) it will be the only full manufacturing facility LMP1 entry, and almost unopposed. A selection of other buyer entries, using new Dallara and Ginetta chassis are mooted nonetheless.

In truth matters are so on edge in WEC that the championship not too long ago held a enthusiast study on how it ought to proceed in the upcoming. But are WEC’s woes and the inflow of hypercars actually linked?

It is certainly legitimate that a lot of enthusiasts clamor for the outdated days of Le Mans, when the race winner could push absent from the circuit afterwards. LMP1 prototypes might provide unparalleled lap speeds, and Group C experienced phenomenal straight line tempo, but there’s a specified magic to looking at highway automobiles — even fabulously high priced kinds — tearing up the race observe.

Hypercars like the Venture One particular, Valkyrie and their rumored competitiveness present an option to return to that format. It might push the balance of performance calculations outrageous striving to even out a 6.5-liter V12 and a hybrid 1.6, but it’s not past the realms of chance.

The prepared creation figures have a trace of homologation about them much too. The last highway vehicle to earn Le Mans outright was the McLaren F1. The company developed 106 of them in full. Aston Martin is arranging 125 Valkyries, when Mercedes will make the Venture One particular much more popular at 275.

It is a little something the models are obviously considering much too. Speaking to Autocar not too long ago, Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer commented:

“My personal standpoint is very very clear: Aston Martin will by no means contend in a prototype group since it has no relevance to us. But if they permitted racing derivatives of highway automobiles, that would be very attention-grabbing to us and, I suspect, the enthusiasts.

“Road-derived race automobiles combating for the earn is in holding with the history of sportscar and Le Mans racing, and the prospect of the likes of Valkyrie combating towards McLaren P1, LaFerrari and much more would be attention-grabbing to much more than just me, I suspect.”

What about McLaren? Nicely the company just unveiled its latest Supreme Collection highway vehicle, the Senna, but has a different in the is effective. This vehicle, codenamed BP23, is a three-seater with a central driving place and a prepared creation run of 106 automobiles. Audio common?

Speaking to previously this year, McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown also spoke of sportscar racing’s past:

“I believe that the WEC has an option to hit the reset button. I’d like them to get back to the Porsche 956 or 962 days, wherever manufacturing facility and privateer groups can race together being aware of they each have likelihood of winning.”

It might all just be a coincidence though. After all, vehicle makers do consider to one-up each other all the time. Irrespective of whether an sign of a new racing group or not, the future crop of hypercars will established however a different new benchmark for highway vehicle performance.

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