During the Rolex 24, race organizers for the World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship revealed that they will offer a new class starting 2021/2022. The LMPh class will be replacing the ultra-expensive LMP1 category that has been dominated by Audi, Porsche and Toyota over the last few years. After the 2020 Super Season the LMP1 category will no longer exists.
With few entries in the top level of sports car racing, race event organizers needed to find a solution for diminishing field entries. IMSA over the last few years found great success for top manufacturers in the industry with the DPi (Daytona Prototype International) category that saw top brands building prototype sportscars around a standard race series approved monocoque chassis. An engine from the manufacturer would be outfitted to the carbon chassis along with bodywork that had styling ques from the manufacturer.
Back to the newly released LMPh category, Ferrari GT boss Antonello Coletta announced that the LMPh category is in line with a great opportunity for Ferrari, the Italian auto maker. Coletta says that the idea of racing the same car in the WEC and IMSA is too perfect for the brand for global marketing.
Coletta’s only con to the new rules is the prototype chassis has to use a LMP2 carbon chassis and that Ferrari would only enter the category if the chassis that Ferrari would use would be a Ferrari constructed carbon structure. At this time there are limited chassis that are approved by the WEC and IMSA.
During next months Super Sebring race, the two event organizers will release more details and final rules for what the LMPh class. Coletta discussed that if this class is constructed correctly that Ferrari’s cost would almost be similar to them campaigning their 488 in the GTE category in the WEC.