The opening round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship will have 37 cars on the starting grid.
The majority of the entry list for the 1000 Miles of Sebring is as expected, but there is a slight change surrounding the Hypercar and LMP2 categories.
Hertz Team JOTA and Proton Competition won’t have their new Porsche 963 cars yet, so they can enter the Hypercar category. Hertz Team JOTA has opted to run in the LMP2 category instead, with David Beckmann pairing up with the full-season regulars Yifei Ye and Will Stevens. The reason for Antonio Felix da Costa being absent, is due to it being mandatory to run a Silver-ranked driver. So German driver Beckmann can fulfil that task.
Proton Competition has chosen to skip this round, and just focus on all their GTE programmes, in addition to their LMP2 entry to the European Le Mans Series. At least until their new Porsche 963 is ready for delivery. They are not on the entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans either, so they will only enter post-Le Mans.
Team WRT #31 has announced Robin Frijns and Ferdinand Habsburg as teammates to Sean Gelael. That is a super strong lineup, with three fast and experienced sportscar drivers, with the former Formula 1 test driver Gelael being “the weak link” as Silver ranked driver in the car.
Other than that, we have all but one driver confirmed. Nicki Thiim has been announced for Northwest AMR #98 for a second season, which he will once again share with Paul Dalla Lana. Their teammate is still Mr and Mrs TBA. But that is usual from that team, who only announced their Silver ranked driver in the race week last year as well.
Proton Competition Porsche #77 has quite a lineup once again. Ever present Christian Ried will team up with Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen and Julien Andlauer. The two former Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup competitors will for sure bring this car near the front of the standings. Ried is the only driver to race every single FIA WEC round in history, plus he is the defending ELMS champion. Andlauer is one of the very fastest Porsche works drivers out there – but he was outraced by Pedersen on several occasions during the 2018 and 2019 seasons in Supercup.
The full entry list can be found here.
The teams will start testing at Sebring International Raceway on 11 March, and will add the Sunday too, before real race week starts on Wednesday 15. The 1000 Miles of Sebring will be run Friday 17 March 2023.