The WEC has released the entry list for the season 2018 through 2019 referred to as the Super Season for lack of any other way to explain a season that seemingly ignores the commonly used Gregorian calendar.
The big news for the new entry list is that the WEC has managed to salvage their LMP1 class from the void left by the exit of Audi and then Porsche from the series marque class. A total of 10 LMP1 cars are listed to take to the track once the Super Season begins. Toyota Kazoo Racing has extend its engagement in the World Endurance Championship and will be the only fully factory backed program in the top class.
Private teams make up the other eight entries including Rebellion Racing which is making a return to the top category with an ORECA-built Rebellion R13. ByKolles Racing Team has upgraded its ENSO CLM P1/01 and it joins CEFC TRSM Racing (formerly Manor) who move up to LMP1 with two new Ginetta G60-LT-P1 prototypes.
There will be no fewer than three BR Engineering BR1s on the grid, two being powered by AER from SMP Racing which makes its return to the WEC for the first time since 2016, and one with a Gibson engine from championship debutant DragonSpeed.
The LMP1 cars will all be Michelin-shod for the Super Season, but powered by five different engine suppliers including Toyota. Gibson, Nismo, Mecachrome and AER will all be on the grid in LMP1.
The LMP2 grid will consist of seven entries with three different chassis constructors represented through the ORECA 07, Dallara P217 and Ligier JSP217. Signatech Alpine’s A470, while individually named, is an ORECA 07 design. The new LMP2 regulations introduced in 2017 offered customers a significant increase in performance which provided close competition throughout the entire 2017 season.
French teams, Signatech Alpine Matmut (2016 LMP2 champions) and TDS Racing return as do 2017 class runners-up Jackie Chan DC Racing. The British-run, Chinese-entered team returns to consolidate its claim on victory in the WEC with a two-car team, the only entrant in the class to do so.
Two new teams are welcomed to LMP2 from the ELMS ranks, DragonSpeed, this entry alongside its LMP1 prototype, and Racing Team Nederland. A name familiar to both endurance and WEC circles, Larbre Competition, makes its return to the World Championship after sitting out 2017.
LMGTE Pro class welcomes the addition of BMW. The German marque’s new BMW M8 GTE made its race debut just weeks ago at Daytona. There will also be an all-new Aston Martin Vantage AMR. Returning will be two Ferrari 488 GTEs from AF Corse, two Ford GTs from Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK and a pair of Porsche’s new generation 911 RSR.
The LMGTE Am class features three different brands among the nine entries. Teams include the 2017 class champions from Aston Martin Racing plus a second Vantage entered by WEC debutant TF Sport. Ferrari 488 GTEs will be in the hands of Clearwater Racing from Singapore, Spirit of Race from Switzerland and another new name, MR Racing. There will be no fewer than four Porsche 911 RSRs, two from Dempsey-Proton Racing, one from Gulf Racing and one from a new name to the entry lists, Team Project 1.
Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile said, “I am very pleased to see the strong entry list that has been unveiled today for the FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’. The FIA World Endurance Championship, through the partnership between the FIA and the ACO, continues to deliver a strong and stable platform for world class competition. I am very much looking forward to following the development of the WEC in the future.”
The flag drops for the first round of the 2018-19 Super Season, the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5th.
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