Today in Paris, the ACO and WEC held a joint press conference on this coming season and the future.
Today in Paris the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) unveiled thirty two full season entries, from 21 teams, which are representing 11 different countries, for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The grid will include six LMP1, twelve LMP2, six LMGTE Pro and eight LMGTE Am entries and will be joined at some events, like at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, by some race-by-race entries.
The LMP1 entry includes two Audi R18 e-tron quattros and two Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrids setting up a head-to-head battle for the world title in 2013 before Porsche arrives in 2013. LMP1 will also see two privateer entries and the prototype grid is further bolstered by an impressive 12 car entry in LMP2. As well as Audi and Toyota, the prototype grid will also feature other manufacturers such as Nissan, Morgan, Lotus, Oreca, HPD-Honda, Zytek and Lola.
The grid for the GTE classes will feature 14 cars with a total of five Ferrari 458s, four Porsche 911 RSRs, four Aston Martin Vantage V8s and a single Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 from reigning GTE Am team champions Larbre Competition. The battle for the LMGTE Pro title will be a three-way fight between three manufacturers who have a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, including many victories at Le Mans over the last 90 years.
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce a grid of 32 full season entries for the 2013 season. 2012 was a great first year for the championship and we hoped to secure between 28 and 30 cars on the list for 2013. To receive 32 full season entries underlines the importance of the WEC and a great indication that we have created a world championship that teams and manufacturers want to take part in.”
M Fillon continued: “With two entries for each manufacturer, we also have the prospect of a straight fight between Audi and Toyota in LMP1 and after the battles last year, the stage is now set for even more drama in 2013. We have two further privateer entries in LMP1, with privateer champions Rebellion and all-British team Strakka Racing continuing to support the category as we head into 2014, with the technical changes that will occur in LMP1 next season.
“LMP2 continues to be a huge success and some familiar names are being joined by new teams. The LMP2 grid alone represents eight different countries and the category is a great showcase for the FIA WEC. In the LMGTE Pro class we have another great battle in prospect with Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin, three great names associated with Le Mans and endurance racing, going head to head for the World Cup for both manufacturers and drivers. The same can be said for the LMGTE Am class with category team champions Larbre Competition fielding the only Corvette in the class against the might of Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin.”
Gerard Neveu, CEO of the FIA WEC, said: “The FIA WEC will once again visit eight countries on four continents and the eight round calendar has been devised to reduce the logistical costs associated with a world championship. The races follow a logical progression around the globe and the events are spread out enough to allow the cars and equipment to be transported by ship or road instead of air where possible. This also has the added advantage of reducing the carbon footprint of the WEC significantly. Of course we will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the first 24 Hours race at Le Mans in 1923, making 2013 a very special year. We hope you will all come and join us and be part of the FIA World Endurance Championship success.”
FIA World Endurance Championship