Dakar Rally News: WEC Embraces Hydrogen Power for 2027 and Beyond

    In a significant move towards sustainable motorsports, the organizers of the prestigious World Endurance Championship (WEC) are confident that the series will see a surge of hydrogen-powered prototypes in the coming years. According to Pierre Fillon, the club president, there will be at least one hydrogen-powered car on the grid for the 2028 season, with the potential for two or three the following year.

    Fillon revealed that the WEC has been working on hydrogen technology since 2018, and the interest from manufacturers has been steadily growing. “Initially we were a little bit alone in our ideas, but now there is momentum,” Fillon told Autosport.

    The original plan to integrate hydrogen machinery into the Hypercar class was set for this year, but a series of one-year delays pushed the implementation to 2027. Fillon confirmed that the regulations will be in place for the 2027 season, with the first hydrogen prototype almost certainly arriving in 2028.

    “Initially we were a little bit alone in our ideas, but now there is momentum,” Fillon told Autosport.

    Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe director Rob Leupen acknowledged the challenge of having a hydrogen-powered car ready for 2027, stating that it would be “extremely challenging.” However, Alpine, another prominent manufacturer, has hinted that it could be ready with a hydrogen challenger by 2027, with motorsport boss Bruno Famin expressing the company’s enthusiasm for the technology.

    Fillon also revealed that the ACO, the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will make a significant announcement regarding hydrogen at next month’s event. Additionally, the ACO will present the H24EVO, the third-generation of hydrogen fuel-cell prototype developed in collaboration with the Franco-Swiss GreenGT organization under the MissionH24 banner. The H24EVO will begin testing early next year and is scheduled to race in the Michelin Le Mans Cup on the European Le Mans Series bill.

    The WEC’s embrace of hydrogen power is a clear indication of the series’ commitment to reducing its environmental impact and aligning with the global push for carbon-neutral mobility. As the industry continues to evolve, the integration of hydrogen-powered cars in the WEC promises to be an exciting and innovative step forward for the sport.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source