Dakar Rally News: 2024 Heralds Second Year of Merged Hypercar and LMDh Regulations in WEC

    The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season saw the continued integration of the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) and LMDh regulations into the Hypercar category, governed by a Balance of Performance. While LMDh cars are yet to secure their first victory at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, the competition remains incredibly fierce.

    Le Mans 24 Hours Highlights

    In the most recent edition of the iconic French endurance race, the #51 Ferrari and the #8 Toyota led the way, with the #50 Ferrari ultimately taking the win, followed by the #7 Toyota and the #51 Ferrari. The polesitting #6 Porsche LMDh car finished just one second off the podium, with concerns raised by driver Andre Lotterer about the true pace of the Porsche.

    Cadillac LMDh Performance

    Elsewhere, the #2 Cadillac LMDh, shared by drivers Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, and Alex Palou, was in contention for the win for a significant portion of the race, leading after 21 hours. However, the car suffered from higher-than-average tire degradation in mixed track conditions, ultimately finishing seventh.

    As noted by Alex Lynn:

    “At one point, it was looking very good, but in the end, I think Ferrari and Toyota just had a little bit more pace in all conditions. That was ultimately the difference. At certain points, we could match them, but never have something extra. Also, they were always very, very competitive.”

    Advantages of Four-Wheel-Drive Hypercar Entries

    The four-wheel-drive setup of the Hypercar (LMH) entries, particularly from Toyota, Ferrari, and Peugeot, proved advantageous in wet conditions, providing increased traction compared to the rear-wheel-drive LMDh cars. This was partially mitigated by the deployment of the safety car during periods of heavy rain.

    Looking ahead, the 2023 WEC calendar promises to be another exciting season, with the continued development and evolution of the Hypercar and LMDh regulations. Fans of endurance racing can look forward to thrilling battles on some of the world’s most iconic circuits.

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