The FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season 2018/19 will be setting new records in sportscar racing.
A total of 36 cars will be entered, when the season starts at Spa Francorchamps on 5 May, followed by Le Mans, Silverstone, Fuji, Shanghai, Sebring, with Spa and Le Mans being visited a second time, before the 2018/19 Champions will be crowned.
The LMP1 category has had a huge boom, and it’s the complete opposite of what some nay-sayers feared, when Porsche announced their retirement from that category. Now we have 8 private LMP1 cars, battling the two Toyota Gazoo Racing cars for the World Championship for the drivers and teams titles.
Rebellion racing will enter two brand new ORECA R13 cars, CEFC TRSM Racing have bought two new Ginetta G60-LT-P1, SMP Racing enters two new BR01, just like DragonSpeed will enter one BR01. ByKolles also returns with one car, and while Toyota still has hybrid technology on their cars, everybody else will have petrol powered cars only, but a bit more horsepower for the privateers. That, combined with different fuel capacity, should give a very close battle between the privateers and works cars.
To make it possible for all the LMP1 teams to fight against each other for the Teams Championship, it’s only going to be the highest finishing car for each team, that will count towards that Championship. The Drivers Championship of course still counts individual for each driver.
The LMP2 category have a slight decrease in numbers, since both Rebellion Racing and Manor (CEFC TRSM Racing) has moved up to LMP1. There are 7 full season cars in this category.
The GTE Pro field has never been larger. Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche all enters two cars each. Aston Martin and BMW will show up with brand new cars, so that will be very exciting to followed, in the battle with the lightly older Ferrari and Ford cars, while Porsche hopefully will have their new-car-issues from 2017 sorted out.
The GTE Am field is also historic large. 9 cars will fight throughout the season. There will be two Aston Martin cars, including the defending Champions AMR #98 and TF Sport. They will fight against three Ferraris and four Porsche cars.
A change to the FIA WEC calendar has been announced too. The race at Fuji will be moved to 14 October, so there won’t be a clash between Formula 1 at COTA and the WEC at Fuji. That has become very important since Toyota Gazoo Racing announced Fernando Alonso as one of their drivers, parallel with his Formula 1 commitment for McLaren Renault. Toyota owns the Fuji track, so it will be a huge scoop for them and the series, to have the fan favourite at the home track.
There will a rule change regarding the pitstops. From now on, the teams will be allowed to both refuel and change drivers and tires at the same time. That makes the pitstops much shorter, resulting in the pit crews having to work much faster.
We will see all the cars on the track together on 6-7 April at Paul Ricard, when the Prologue is run.
The complete entry list for the FIA WEC can be found here.