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World Sports Car 2022

2021 saw the first year of the new Hypercar ruleset with the introduction of the Toyota GR010, Glickenhaus SRG007 and grandfathered Alpine LMP1.  They were capped to 670 HP (except Le Mans at 730), limited in suspension components, only one adjustable aero element and other restrictions to tires, and suspension geometry.  The manufacturers originally had to produce 20 of the road cars although that rule was lifted to increase field sizes.  The first year was definitely a shakedown, for both the cars and the WEC all cars needed to be rebalanced constantly to prevent serious performance issues between classes.  By 2022, the Hypercars were more refined but issues in the global supply chain delayed many teams until 2023 and 2024.

Storm Gang Simulation wanted to offer a special mod that would represent the spirit of the new ruleset.  They audited potential candidates from all the major manufacturers to duke it out with the real-world runners: Glickenhaus and Toyota (Alpine was excluded as it was old-gen tech).  By the end, 11 Hypercars would be developed to fill out the grid.

 

But SGS didn't stop there.  They also wanted a complete GT field.  Because the GTE class was dwindling like the GT1's before it, there was every indication that the GT3 spec would be the future of the production cars in the WEC.  IMSA had already announced the move to GT3 via its GTD class and WEC was already working with IMSA on convergence for the top class so it all made sense.  To supplement the Studio 397 GT3 roster, 5 new GT's were developed and Smart BOPed ™.

 

Never before had such a complete group of top-level endurance racing machines been developed, combined and balanced in the sim racing world for competition.  And Storm Gang Simulation completed it in less than 5 months.  Below is the work completed by Storm Gang Simulation starting with the premier video and one of the season races at CMS (only available to current members).

HYPERCAR

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Aston Martin AMR Pro Valkyrie LMH

The 2021 WEC season was meant to feature two big manufacturers in Hypercar. However, after Stroll’s acquisition of the marquee, the Hypercar development program was recalled just as it was ready to go out the door, with funds redirected to their F1 efforts.  Revealed in 2016 and similar to the AMG ONE, the Valkyrie was crafted in conjunction with their F1 program and Red Bull Racing.

 

Ground effects and other major aero enhancements go hand-in-hand with the 1160 HP 6.5L naturally aspirated V12 (detuned to 670 HP for VWSC 2022 competition as per WEC rules).  The AMR Pro can corner with 3.3 lateral g’s and a top speed over 350 km/h.  While Aston Martin has pulled out of the 2021 season, WSC 2022 reimagined it on track to do proper battle with their rivals, particularly Toyota, just as it was meant to be.

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Bugatti Bolide LMH

While originally a proof-of-concept car, the Bolide was designed to showcase Bugatti’s control over form and function in the hypercar space. One of the most impressive looking cars on the roster, the Bolide features a mammoth 8L quad turbocharged, 16-cylinder engine (the W16.4) producing 1825hp. This enormous power plant is greatly nerfed for competition (by almost 3 times (!) with a max of 670HP). Its unique AWD 45/55 split system has excellent stability and pull out of the corners due to very high low-end torque.

 

Following the selloff by VW, this may be the last chance for Bugatti to showcase engineering prowess in the ICE field with what is essentially a full thoroughbred racecar before possibly moving to completely electric powertrains with Rimac. While this will almost certainly be a one-off “farewell” to Bugatti’s racing heritage and their line of products prior to the Rimac merger, the car is reimagined in a full WEC Le Mans Hypercar spec.

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Ferrari FXX-K Evo LMH

This track-day car, originally introduced in 2015, crams a 6.3L V12 behind the driver for great balance and power at over 750HP.  The Evo aero kit allowed for maximum attack and helped make this a dominant force around the twistier courses where it would eat curbs and corners for lunch.

While an older design, the FXX-K Evo has proven itself in performance and design.  Tifosi everywhere would be proud to pilot this incredible car through any race.

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Glickenhaus SCG 007C LMH

The underdog of the 2021 Hypercar season.  The actor/director-turned car manufacturer, Jim Glickenhaus, burns for traditional sportscar competition.  In interviews, he mentions the likes of the Lola T70, Ferrari 512 and the Porsche 917 inspiring the design of the SCG007.  Glickenhaus is another small, custom manufacturer that stepped up to Toyota in a real-life David v Goliath story for WEC 2021.  Despite the company’s size, they do have an impressive pedigree of racing excellence in their short lifespan, even taking a 1st in class in the 2020 24h of Nürburgring.


The twin turbo V8 engine by Pipo Moteurs produces over 800hp (capped at 670HP for competition).  Although the car doesn’t have a hybrid and is only RWD, James is nonchalant, believing that the format will still be very competitive.  The undertray is specially designed to induce additional downforce and the unique rear-wing strakes provide additional stability for the maximum length chassis.

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Koenigsegg Jesko LMH

Dubbed a “Megacar” by founder Christian von Koenigsegg, the Jesko, a tribute to his father, takes up the torch from the Agera; The World’s Most Beautiful Car as rated by Forbes.  While Koenigsegg is a fairly young, Swedish, sportscar company, it has produced some impressive vehicles in the last few decades.  Christian started the manufacturer in the early 90’s and then purchased an abandoned air base for production and testing.  In fact, all cars from the converted hanger feature the "Johan Röd" squadron “ghost badge” as tribute to the Swedish airmen.  In another twist, Koenigsegg nearly purchased Saab, which made the jet fighters, in 2009 from GM but pulled out, last minute.


SGS is reimagining the new Jesko model for competition.  It runs the same Agera 5L twin turbo V8 producing over 1600hp (again detuned to 670HP for VWSC 2022).  The custom-built, 9-speed transmission reduced to 8 gears due to the reduced power-output.  It still utilizes the same LST design which uses the rotating mass of the components instead of a flywheel for instant power.  The huge splitter and unique forward-sweep wing keeps the power firmly to the road.

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Lamborghini SCV12 Essenza LMH

With the resounding success of the Huracan GT3 and the Super Trofeo series, Lamborghini was (and still is!) one of the manufacturers interested to throw their hat in the ring for the Le Mans Hypercar class and demonstrate the ferocity of their Essenza customer track program.  The Essenza SCV12 is a track-only car that customers can hotlap circuits post times on an international leaderboard while enjoying the brain-melting grip and downforce pounding them into the seat.


Starting 2.2MM£/ea, they come with a proper crew and training.  The 830 HP (670 HP for VWSC 2022 spec) 6.5L V12 8500 rpm peak power engine is Lamborghini’s most powerful V12 ever created.  For this reimagined version of the car it has been reduced to meet FIA rules but still roars and delivers all of that power to the rear wheels.  Little else has needed changing in order to meet regulations, other than the AC and passenger seat have been removed.  Despite the raw power coming from the engine, the car grips and is a surprisingly easy drive until taken to the absolute limit.

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McLaren Senna GTR LMH

What series would be complete without an entry from the world-famous manufacturer.

Another track-day car which was released by Studio 397 as the premier entry into the hypercar market of DLC.  The original model was quite a bit faster than FIA rules allowed for the class so a great deal of work was done to slow it down and bring it to parity with the field.  Even still, the Senna has grip for days and became the go-to "sweat pants" car for drivers wanting something they could quickly and comfortably slip into.

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Mercedes-AMG ONE LMH

Mercedes-Benz is one of the oldest manufacturers in top level racing.  They have infamously fallen from grace within the world of sportscars more than once but have created a hypercar that could return them to the top.  The AMG ONE is the end result of development across decades within Formula One and other disciplines.


At almost $3MM/car, the ONE was developed with hybrid technologies based heavily on F1 specs and directly with Lewis Hamilton testing the prototypes.  The hybrid tech is reflected in the relatively diminutive 1.6L turbocharged V6 derived from their Formula 1 engine, supported by 4 electric motors and producing up to 1000+ HP with a 11,000 rpm redline (670 HP cap for FIA regs).  Little else was changed for the racing version of the ONE although the active aero rear wing has been replaced with a much larger bolt-on keeping the AWD firmly planted in corners.

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Pagani Huayra Imola LMH

Pagani is basically what Ferrari and Lamborghini were decades ago: a small company with exquisite passion for top level cars.  The Argentinian CEO and founder, Horacio Pagani, originally worked for Lamborghini and eventually branched off to focus on composite material development, which the Pagani company excels at today.


The Huayra line represents the next generation of super/hypercars from the company after the landmark Zondas.  Named after the famous race course that made legendary drivers, and took some away, the Imola is the culmination of track performance and design.  Massive aero enhancements have been made, components stripped out or fine-tuned and the 6L V12 twin supercharged engine produces 827 BHP (reduced to 670bhp for VWSC competition).  AMG has supplied the engines and thanks to an agreement, will continue to assist the small automaker with their ambitious reimagined entry into the 2022 VWSC season.

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Porsche 908/04 LMH

The only car in the lineup that never actually reached production.  This concept wasn't even Porsche's.  Instead it was a passion project created by a group of dedicated fans paying homage to the iconic 904 LH from 1968 and beyond (read their full story here).  Stuttgart was so impressed, they officially adopted the group's concept into Porsche's catalog.


While not as dominating as the 917K that appeared only a couple years after the 908's premiere, this car and its iterations were the foundation for the 917's success and went on to be very successful itself.  This reworked version is well over the 5m official length, making it the longest car in the group.  Its powerful 3.4 L Twin Turbo V8 power the rear wheels to astounding top speeds.  It's an absolute, low-slung rocket and is a stunning imagining of the line.

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Toyota GR010 LMH

Following the stunning success from their TS050 LMP1 hybrid, which won 3 straight 24h of Le Mans and 2 WEC titles from 2016-2020, Toyota continues the tradition and is one of the very first to offer a purpose-built hypercar for FIA competition.  Toyota has built the new hypercar with many cues from their LMP1 program.  The 3.5L V6 twin-turbocharged engine produces up to 671 HP on its own through the 7-speed transmission and is assisted with 2 electric motors that power the front wheels.


The AWD performance has allowed it to dominate in almost every race in the 2021 season and Toyota shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future.

GT

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Acura NSX Evo GT3

Honda’s luxury brand has a rich heritage in the NSX line.  The first “cheap supercar” of the modern age transformed into something that is not so cheap anymore.  The 2022 version of the car will be the last in production through 2024.  The chassis will continue to be provided by the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, while the final assembly is completed by JAS Motorsport in Milan, Italy.


The original NSX GT3 was introduced in 2017 and since then, it has achieved 25 class wins in IMSA GTD and SRO GT competitions. It’s currently defending the titles in both competitions as a manufacturers’ champion.  Relying solely on a lightly modified version of the production model’s 3.5-litre twin turbocharged V6 engine to produce 550 HP and 644 Nm of torque.

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Ford Mustang GT3

The What?  That’s right, The Blue Oval has teased their interest in joining the burgeoning ranks of GT3 with the Mustang for some time.  While their last remaining production car (state-side) races as a GT4, Ford has indicated a return to GT3 would be very likely, especially after eyeing an LMDh program (perhaps a Lincoln hypercar?).  After some flopped attempts to add the Mustang to the class between 2007-2011 and killing off the Ford GT GTE program in 2019, it’s time the manufacturer came back to racing on the world main stage.  Of course, nothing but a throaty V8 will power this stallion.

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Lamborghini Huracan Evo 2 GT3

Lamborghini has an incredibly strong showing in GT3 and GTD around the world. The Italian marquee is one of the most visually radical designs, maintaining the age-old wedge shape.  The Evo 2 has taken visual cues from the Super Trofeo version of the car, which was the basis for the 2022 car.  Historically, The GT3 Evo’s follow the Super Trofeo versions from the previous generation with some other enhancements. While equipped with a 5.2L NA V10, the Huracan is actually on the light side, at around 1230kg and a popular choice for pros and ams alike.

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Lexus RC F GT3

The Lexus RC F GT3 made its debut in the GT Daytona (GTD) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.  It has taken several class victories and poles through its lifetime, allowing Toyota’s luxury brand to stand shoulder to shoulder with their Japanese rival, Honda/Acura.  While support is being pulled in Europe, the US program is still very strong as well as privateer programs.  The weight is maxed at 1300kg and the car is powered by a powerful 5.4L V8 pumping out 500 HP.

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Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3

Little has changed in the GT-R’s design through the years.  Nissan isn’t much for rocking the boat, especially when it comes to a winning formula.  Must be cousins with Porsche.  The GT-R line comes from a rich lineage of tuner-culture-turned-pro racing.  Originally launched in 2012, the car has continued with only minor evo’s and updates to the exterior.  Much has been done under the hood and below the running boards, however.  The GT-R has won in Japan and crushed the Blancpain Endurance championship.   In 2016 it won all 6 races of the Super Endurance Series.  It has finished The 24h of Spa 4 years in a row and 24h of Nürburgring 3 years in a row.  The smaller 3.8L VR38DETT still cranks out a strong 540 HP at 6500 rpm making this a Godzilla to be feared.

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