Gary Watkins
Author

Gary Watkins

London, UK

Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 32nd as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 75 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.

Gary, who also writes for Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse, RACER and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.

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Two-time Le Mans winner Jean-Pierre Jaussaud dies

Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jean-Pierre Jaussaud has died aged 84 after a short illness.

Ferrari hopes to race hypercar in IMSA following WEC convergence
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Ferrari hopes to race hypercar in IMSA following WEC convergence

Ferrari has expressed hopes that its new FIA World Endurance Championship contender will race in North America after the opening up of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship to Le Mans Hypercars.

Toyota admits to reliability concerns ahead of Le Mans Monza
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Toyota admits to reliability concerns ahead of Le Mans

Toyota has admitted to concerns over the reliability of its new FIA World Endurance Championship contender ahead of next month's Le Mans 24 Hours.

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

"Impressive" Glickenhaus can "keep Toyota honest" in Monza Monza
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"Impressive" Glickenhaus can "keep Toyota honest" in Monza

Glickenhaus believes it can "keep Toyota honest" in Sunday's Monza 6 Hours FIA World Endurance Championship round after failing to deliver its full potential in qualifying. 

Monza WEC: Toyota locks out front row ahead of Alpine Monza
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Monza WEC: Toyota locks out front row ahead of Alpine

Toyota driver Jose Maria Lopez bounced back from a mistake on his first hot lap in qualifying to claim pole for Sunday's FIA World Endurance Championship round at Monza.

Monza WEC: Lopez secures Toyota clean sweep in practice Monza
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Monza WEC: Lopez secures Toyota clean sweep in practice

Toyota blocked out the top two positions in final free practice for Sunday's Monza round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Monza WEC: Alpine, Glickenhaus split Toyotas in FP2

Alpine and Glickenhaus split the Toyotas in second free practice for Sunday's Monza round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Peugeot confident of racing 9X8 Hypercar without rear wing

Peugeot is confident that its new 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar will race without a rear wing when its makes its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

Toyota confirms Ogier WEC outing discussions

Toyota has confirmed discussions are underway for seven-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier to test its FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar ahead of a possible outing in the series next year.

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

Thiim added to Aston Martin Le Mans 24 Hours line-up

Reigning FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro title winner Nicki Thiim will make a return to the series with Aston Martin Racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in August. 

WEC's Le Mans Hypercars allowed to compete in IMSA from 2023

Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship will be able to compete against LMDh machinery in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023.

Introduction of next-generation LMP2 car delayed until 2024

The introduction of the next generation of LMP2 prototype has been delayed by one year until the beginning of 2024.

WEC opts against further Hypercar BoP changes for Monza

The Hypercar class Balance of Performance will be unchanged for next weekend's Monza FIA World Endurance Championship round.

Ferrari boss Elkann named starter of 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours

Ferrari boss John Elkann will wave off the field at the start of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours in August.

Prema unites with Iron Lynx to form Italian superteam

Single-seater powerhouse Prema has moved under the control of the owners of the Iron Lynx sportscar squad to create a new Italian superteam.

Fuji WEC round cancelled, Bahrain becomes double-header

The FIA World Endurance Championship has cancelled its Fuji round for a second year in a row, replacing it with a second fixture in Bahrain.

Peugeot reveals first images of radical 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar

The first photographs of Peugeot's 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship challenger reveal innovative aerodynamics that do away with the need for a conventional rear wing. 

Kevin Magnussen completes first pre-Le Mans test alongside father

Ex-Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen has completed the first test in the car he will share with father Jan in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Archive: How Magnussen's post-F1 US path is emulating his father's

Fresh from his first IMSA SportsCar Championship victory last week, ex-Formula 1 racer Kevin Magnussen makes his IndyCar Series debut at Road America this weekend. It's the latest in a growing list of comparisons with his father Jan's career in the US, after his own F1 exit mid-way through 1998. Shortly after announcing his deal with Panoz for 1999, Magnussen Sr spoke to Autosport about his Indycar ambitions for the 21 January issue.

Vanthoor and Bamber join WeatherTech in GTE Pro at Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours winners Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor will race for the Proton-run WeatherTech GTE Pro Porsche squad in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

WEC won't revert to eight-round calendar in 2022
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WEC won't revert to eight-round calendar in 2022

The FIA World Endurance Championship will not revert to its traditional eight-race schedule next year in the face of the on-going COVID pandemic, series bosses have revealed. 

Glickenhaus reveals Monza WEC line-up, Briscoe stood down

Glickenhaus Racing has named the driver line-up for its expansion to two cars for the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Monza in July.

Manuel Maldonado joins United Autosports for Le Mans debut

Venezuelan Manuel Maldonado, cousin of Formula 1 race winner Pastor, will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut with the United Autosports LMP2 squad in August.

Monza WEC round to allow limited number of fans

Spectators will be allowed to return to the FIA World Endurance Championship at Monza next month for the first time in nearly 18 months.

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

Toyota explains late Portimao team orders call Algarve
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Toyota explains late Portimao team orders call

The Toyota FIA World Endurance Championship squad has revealed a change to its internal rules of engagement to allow its cars to race to the chequered flag in the wake of Sunday's Portimao 8 Hours.

Alpine expects fuel mileage disadvantage for full WEC season

Alpine has conceded that it will have to live with its inability to match the fuel mileage of the new Le Mans Hypercars through the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Portimao WEC: Alpine beats Toyotas to maiden pole Algarve
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Portimao WEC: Alpine beats Toyotas to maiden pole

Alpine edged out Toyota to claim pole position for this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours FIA World Endurance Championship round in a closely-fought qualifying session.

Portimao WEC: United LMP2 leads Alpine in final practice Algarve
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Portimao WEC: United LMP2 leads Alpine in final practice

Paul di Resta and United Autosports completed a clean sweep for LMP2 machinery across free practice for Sunday's Portimao FIA World Endurance Championship round, as the Glickenhaus made a dramatic improvement. 

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

Portimao WEC: Da Costa's JOTA LMP2 fastest in FP1 Algarve
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Portimao WEC: Da Costa's JOTA LMP2 fastest in FP1

JOTA LMP2 driver Antonio Felix da Costa jumped to the top of the times in the dying minutes of first practice for this weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship round at Portimao.

Toyota won't contest "not avoidable" Portimao BoP blow Algarve
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Toyota won't contest "not avoidable" Portimao BoP blow

Toyota has no complaints with the double performance hit its Le Mans Hypercars have received for this weekend's Portimao round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Le Mans 24 Hours fans won't be divided into groups

The 50,000 spectators allowed to attend this year's rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours in August will not divided into smaller groups.

Le Mans 24 Hours to admit 50,000 spectators in August
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Le Mans 24 Hours to admit 50,000 spectators in August

A crowd of 50,000 will be permitted at this year's Le Mans 24 Hour round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in August.

BMW to make top-flight sportscar racing return in 2023
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BMW to make top-flight sportscar racing return in 2023

BMW will make a return to top-flight sportscar racing after an absence of more than 20 years in the new LMDh prototype category in 2023.

Glickenhaus hypercar "100 percent ready" for WEC debut Algarve
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Glickenhaus hypercar "100 percent ready" for WEC debut

The new Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercar is "100 percent ready for Portimao", according to British driver Richard Westbrook. 

Ferrari to continue AF Corse alliance for LMH programme

Ferrari's Le Mans Hypercar will be run by long-term partner AF Corse on the marque's return to prototype racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023.

Toyota gets BoP performance hit for Portimao

Toyota's new GR010 Hybrid has been slowed by a double performance hit for next weekend's Portimao round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

BMW considering LMDh, Electric GT as post-Formula E options
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BMW considering LMDh, Electric GT as post-Formula E options

LMDh and the new FIA Electric GT Championship are among the options for BMW as it plots its future in top-level motorsport beyond the end its Formula E programme.

McLaren F1 team boss Brown to race GT4 for United Autosports

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown will return to the cockpit of one of the British marque's GT racers at Zandvoort next month with his United Autosports team.

Aston Martin reunites Thiim, Sorensen for Spa 24 Hours

Reigning FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro title winners Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will contest this year's Spa 24 Hours in an all-factory Aston Martin driver line-up. 

Glickenhaus LMH "ran like a train" during Aragon test
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Glickenhaus LMH "ran like a train" during Aragon test

The new Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercar "ran like a train" through its first long-distance test ahead of its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at next month's Portimao round. 

The new threat facing SRO's ultra-successful GT3 category Prime

The new threat facing SRO's ultra-successful GT3 category

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots.

Champion Racing unveils Pikes Peak hillclimb Porsche

The Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Champion Racing team has unveiled the car with which it will end a 12-season absence from competition in next month's Pikes Peak hillclimb.

GT3 could be "doomed" if it's adopted by WEC - Ratel
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GT3 could be "doomed" if it's adopted by WEC - Ratel

The GT3 category could be "doomed" if it is adopted by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship, the architect of the class Stephane Ratel has warned. 

Porsche wants GTE car to race on beyond 2022

Porsche is targeting a future for the GTE division in the FIA World Endurance Championship beyond the current two-year commitment to the class by the series organisers. 

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

Electric GT Championship plans revealed ahead of 2023 launch

A new FIA Electric GT Championship promoted by Eurosport will kick off in 2023 using the rules unveiled by the governing body last month.

Porsche, Penske unite to run new LMDh prototype in WEC, IMSA
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Porsche, Penske unite to run new LMDh prototype in WEC, IMSA

Penske will mastermind Porsche's factory return to top-line sportscar racing with a new LMDh prototype in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023.

Alpine wants WEC BoP changes to ease fuel mileage concerns

Alpine is demanding changes to the Hypercar Balance of Performance after losing a shot at victory in Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa on fuel mileage.

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

Estre: Porsche Spa WEC triumph was "extremely stressful"

Porsche driver Kevin Estre has described his World Endurance Championship class victory together with Neel Jani at Spa on Saturday as "extremely stressful" despite their domination in GTE Pro.

Toyota explains Kobayashi's race-deciding Spa off

Toyota has revealed that a braking problem cost reigning champions Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez near-certain victory in Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa.

Toyota: Hypercars won't always outpace LMP2s in race trim

The advantage the Hypercars enjoyed over LMP2s in qualifying for the Spa FIA World Endurance Championship opener does not mean they will always be faster on race pace, according to Toyota.

Le Mans 24h date won't change again, even without fans

The Le Mans 24 Hours will go ahead on its new date at the end of August even if it is run behind closed doors for a second year in succession.

WEC won't slow down LMP2 cars if further tweaks needed

The FIA World Endurance Championship will increase the pace of cars in the new Hypercar category rather than slowing the LMP2s if it needs to adjust the balance between the classes.

Jani "starting my career again" with WEC GTE switch

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Neel Jani feels like he is "starting my career again" as he begins his maiden GT campaign in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche.