McLaren will make a decision on entering the FIA World Endurance Championship's new hypercar-led premier class by the end of the summer.

The WEC confirmed on Friday that it would be going ahead with plans for a new top category from the 2020-21 season that will see manufacturers enter either prototypes or road-going cars to the class that will replace LMP1.

Toyota and Aston Martin have both confirmed their involvement in the new category, but McLaren has been closely involved in discussions with the WEC and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest in forming the new regulations.

Asked by Crash.net for his thoughts on the announcement, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said he was "pleased with the direction" after a "lengthy work in progress".

"We’ll now, Gil [de Ferran], myself, Mike Flewitt, the CEO of Automotive, we’ll all work together to ultimately come forward with a recommendation of if we want to do it, how we want to do it, when we want to do it," Brown said.

"Any time you get into Balance of Performance, there’s a bit of a concern to make sure that gets done right, especially when you’ve got two formulas, but they’ve done a really good job in GTE, and therefore I have a good degree of confidence that they can ultimately get it right in WEC."

Brown and sporting director de Ferran confirmed McLaren is leaning towards entering a road-going hypercar to the category, no final decision had been made, nor had anything been decided on the potential use of a hybrid system in the cars, which will be optional in the new category.

It would, however, be based on a new road car from McLaren, and not the existing McLaren Senna.

Any entry to the new class would only come at the start of its second season in 2021-22, though, with de Ferran stressing a decision needed to be made in the near future.

"We really have to be deciding this by the end of the summer at the latest to be ready for 2021 and to do the job properly," he said, adding McLaren had to "absolutely" have a clear plan on what road car would be used by that point.

Brown said that he was pleased to see Toyota and Aston Martin already commit to the class, and said he hoped many of McLaren's automotive rivals would follow suit.

"We want to race against our competition," Brown said. "It's great that Aston's in, and it's great that Toyota's in. They're a great racing entity, but we want to race against as many of our competitors as possible - our marketplace [competitors].

"I hope we see the Ferraris, the Porsches, the Lamborghinis. The majority of those have been in all the same meetings that we have. Hopefully some of them are going through the same process we're going through, and hopefully some of them come to the conclusion that we're going to do it."

McLaren famously won the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1995 with its McLaren F1 GTR, but has not featured in the race since 1998.

 

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