The FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 will start this coming week at Spa Francorchamps.
There are 35 cars entered, with a few absentees, and a few extra additions, compared to the full season entry list.
Toyota Gazoo Racing and Alpine Elf Matmut will bring a total of three cars for the new Hypercar category. The Japanese brand is the only so far to bring a pair of their brand new Hypercars, while the French outfit has been allowed to rename the old Rebellion R13 LMP1 car, as their own Alpine A480, with some performance limitations applied, since the Hypercar concept, is to slow the pace a bit, so they are cheaper to run on than the old LMP1 category.
Sadly, Glickenhaus is not quite ready yet. They want to continue their testing, since their homologation of the car will be locked, once they enter their first competition. So they are using all chances to change the spec of the car and aerodynamic, until that will be locked in for several seasons.
The LMP2 category will have its 11 regular entrants, while G-Drive Racing will bring their two cars, which are entered for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well. Five of their six drivers are the same. John Falb and Rui Andrade will be joined by Roberto Merhi in car #25. They are usually sharing the car with Pietro Fittipaldi, but Fittipaldi will be racing in the NTT IndyCar Series on the Texas oval on the Spa Francorchamps weekend. Merhi could end up getting the Le Mans ride too, since Fittipaldi currently has a date clash between that event and the Gateway oval too.
The second G-Drive Racing car #26 will have Roman Rusinov, Franco Colapinto, and Nyck de Vries racing together. They were running together in the European Le Mans Series last weekend, grabbing the Pole Position, but lost out on a podium. The team usually participates in the 6 hours race at Spa, as a Le Mans warm-up.
PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports #24 has gone east from the USA, and will also be using the race as a warm-up for Le Mans. Patrick Kelly on the Le Mans entry by winning the IMSA LMP2 title in 2020, so he will be one of the drivers in the car. He will be joined by Gabriel Aubry and Simon Trummer, who have both raced for the team in the USA.
Jan Magnussen will have his LMP2 racing debut with High Class Racing, alongside Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach. Andersen and Fjordbach will start their fifth LMP2 season together, with Magnussen having only tested the car in fall 2019, and a test in Barcelona about a month ago.
Defending LMP2 champions United Autosports #22 are back with Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, while they are joined by Silver-ranked newcomer, Fabio Scherer.
AF Corse Ferrari and Porsche will bring a pair of cars each, so fight against Corvette Racing #63, who are going to use the race as a prelude to the 24 hours race in France. Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin have the honor of racing the American sportscar at Spa. Both drivers know the circuit from participating in the Spa 24 Hours – but sharing the same car, is a first for them.
AF Corse will run 2017 World Champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in #51, while the new #52 will be run by Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina.
Porsche brings an unchanged line-up in #91 with Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni, while #92 has been changed to 2018/19 World Champion Kevin Estre being joined by 2016 LMP World Champion Neel Jani.
The defending champions from Aston Martin, Nicki Thiim, and Marco Sørensen are not part of the field this year. The British marque has moved its focus to Formula 1 instead of sportscars.
The GTE Am category has 13 cars entered for the full season, with no additional entries for this race. It’s three times Aston Martin, five times Porsche, and five times Ferrari.
Some of the Porsche seats have been TBA for a long time, but Team Project 1 Porsche #46 has been taken up by Norwegians Dennis Olsen and Anders Buchardt, while Brit Axcil Jefferies is the third driver to the car.
Dempsey-Proton Competition #88 has put Andrew Haryanto, Marco Seefried, and Alessio Picariello in the car. Haryanto and Picariello are currently entered for Absolute Racing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it’s unclear if this will be a single outing in the 88 for them, or if they will do a full FIA WEC season.
Defending Champions Nicklas Nielsen and Francois Perrodo are back with AF Corse Ferrari #83. They will be joined by Alessio Rovera, as their new Silver-rated driver, and will surely be under intense pressure from at least a handful of the 12 other competitors.
The FIA WEC starts out with their Prologue on Monday and Tuesday, while the race weekend really gets going on Thursday. The race start is on 1 May at 13.30 CET.