Plenty of duels in the opening race

The 2021 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship kicked off at Spa Francorchamps, on a cold but dry Saturday. Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 with Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez started from Pole Position, in front of their sister car #8 with Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi, while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 with Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao were the third-fastest Hypercar. United Autosports USA #22 with Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Fabio Scherer had taken Pole Position in LMP2, and at the…

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Inter Europol Competition got replacement ready

Inter Europol Competition has a replacement ready for later in the FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 season. The Polish outfit usually runs Kuba Smiechowski, Alex Brundle, and Renger van der Zande in their FIA WEC rookie season, but the latter has a programme in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship too, with two dates clashing. The team has made a deal with Louis Deletraz, to help out at those two rounds. Deletraz knows the ORECA 07 LMP2 already from his European Le Mans Series duties at Team WRT. With the first…

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Team Project 1 down and out for Spa

Team Project 1 has had a nightmare week at Spa Francorchamps, in the lead-up to the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team was so unlucky to lose car #46 in a crash on Monday during the Prologue, with the chassis getting so damaged, that it couldn’t be a race car again. Yesterday’s qualifying saw Egidio Perfetti crash at full speed at the top of Raidillon, hitting the tire barrier with both the front- and rear end of the car. Following examination of the car, when the…

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Qualifying to 6 hours of Spa

The FIA ​​World Endurance Championship 2021 season got off to a start, with today’s qualification at the Spa Francorchamps track in Belgium. First on the track were the GTE Pro and GTE Am categories, to the new qualifying format with only 10 minutes of qualifying, with a single driver, instead of the previous qualifying format, where two drivers had to set a time each, and the total time was then their qualifying time. Much much easier to keep up with. The qualifying was stopped after 3 minutes when Christian Ried…

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Two practice sessions without interuptions

The final two free practice sessions ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying at Spa Francorchamps happened in quite a calm fashion. The Hypercar category is getting more and more up to speed, with Alpine Elf Matmut #36 with Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre, and Matthieu Vaxiviere overall fastest in the morning session, ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 with Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Brendon Hartley, while Toyota #7 with Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway, and Kamui Kobayashi was the third fastest in the top category. The afternoon practice…

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Quiet Thursday at Spa

It was thankfully an easy start to the FIA World Endurance Championship race weekend at Spa Francorchamps. After two very dramatic test days, Thursday was the first official day, with a single Free Practice session to be run for the 34 WEC cars. The events from the Prologue repeated themselves, with the defending LMP2 champions United Autosports USA #22 with Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson, and  Fabio Scherer being fastest of everybody, while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 with Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao, and Matthieu Vaxiviere were second fastest – and fastest…

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Audi reveals a few more LMDh details

Audi Sport has revealed a few more details about their upcoming LMDh programme. The German brand has confirmed, that the car will be ready for competition at Daytona 2023, but expects to have a car ready in early 2022, so they can start testing. The LMDh category is built on the new LMP2 cars, with different car manufacturers being allowed to put their own engine and bodywork on, so there will be certain styling cues to their road cars. Just like the Hypercar category, the car will be homologated for…

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Day two at Spa also a car killer

As if there wasn’t already drama enough on day one of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 Prologue, there was more drama on the second day of running. The Belgian Spa Francorchamps track is one of the high-speed circuits on the schedule, with very limited run-off and instant penalty, if you run off the circuit. Team Project 1 Porsche #46 is confirmed to be done for the week. Norwegian Anders Burchardt had a heavy shunt yesterday, that a new chassis is needed. The demand for 911 RSR-19 chassis is so…

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Long night ahead for at least three teams

At least three teams will have a long night ahead, following the first day of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 Prologue at Spa Francorchamps. TF Sport is hit the most, since they run both their own #33 but also the D’Station Racing #777, which both had huge accidents at the famous Raidillion corner. Just like IDEC Sport at Le Mans 2020, both accidents happened within half an hour of each other. Thankfully, both Ben Keating and Satoshi Hoshino were able to leave the cars without help, both Aston Martin…

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Double Magnussen and Fjordbach for Le Mans

High Class Racing has announced their drivers for their second car at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jan and Kevin Magnussen will be sharing the car with Anders Fjordbach. That will make it an all-Danish team for the ORECA 07 Gibson LMP2 #49. This is the first Le Mans for Kevin Magnussen. He has been on the Formula 1 route until now, but closed that chapter of his career, and has started to focus on sportscars from this season onwards. He is currently racing for Chip Ganassi Racing…

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35 cars at Spa

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…

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ARC Bratislava ready with four drivers

ARC Bratislava is ready for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2021. The Slovakian team will enter their first full FIA WEC season, competing in their Ligier JS P217 Gibson in the LMP2 Pro/Am category. Team owner Miro Konopka is of course the first choice regarding the drivers. He has chosen to sign up Oliver James Webb for the full season – with the exception of the opening round, which clashes with a racing series in the United Kingdom. Webb will be replaced by Darren Burke at Spa Francorchamps. Burke has…

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HubAuto Racing moves to GTE Pro

HubAuto Racing has chosen to move into the GTE Pro category for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Taiwanese team is traditionally an Am team in the Asian Le Mans Series, and had their debut at Circuit de la Sarthe in 2020 in the GTE Am category. There are currently 7 cars entered in GTE Pro, while there are (were) 24 in GTE Am. So the chances of a GTE Pro podium are statistically better. After the switch for HubAuto Racing, the balance is 8/23. The team hasn’t…

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Dalla Lana presents teammates

Paul Dalla Lana has finally presented the two teammates, who are going to race alongside him in the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The Canadian, who is going to participate in GTE Am, has chosen to stay with Aston Martin Racing, even though the team pulled out of GTE Pro. Dalla Lana has re-hired Augusto Farfus, which he shared the car with through the second part of the 2019/20 season, and chose another Brazilian as a third driver – Marcos Gomes. Farfus has plenty of experience with GT cars,…

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Porsche announces Portimao and Le Mans drivers

Porsche has announced the six drivers, who will do the longer rounds of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship. The standard length is six hours in an FIA WEC event, but the Portimao round in Portugal will be eight hours, plus the race will serve as warm up race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Car #91 will once again be raced by Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz throughout the full season. The Italian-Austrian pairing will once again have Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki join them. Those three have been paired…

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Lynn returns to UA

Alexander Lynn will return to United Autosports for at least one race. The Brit will share car #23 with Paul Di Resta at the 24 Hours Of Le Mans this August, with a not yet announced third driver. Lynn has previously raced for the British-American team, when he participated in the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Back then he raced an LMP3 car. An ORECA 07 Gibson in the LMP2 category will be the choice of vehicle this time around. This pairing is also two Le Mans…

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Reserve list for LM24 2021 revealed

Automobile Club de l’Ouest has revealed the reserve list for the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There are a total of four teams on that list. The first one is AF Corse with an extra Ferrari 488 GTE Evo for the GTE Am category. The car is already fully crewed by Christophe Ulrich, Simon Mann and Sergei Sirotkin, with car number 62. The second reserve is an extra Algarve Pro Racing car for the LMP2 category. Mark Patterson and Naveen Rao are the named drivers for…

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ByKolles continues work on Hypercar

ByKolles Racing Team still have plans for racing their own Hypercar. The team has raced in sportscars on-off since 2009, where they started running some Audi R10 TDi cars in a couple of seasons, and turned into building their own cars throughout the ’10s. The new car currently holds the description as PMC Project LMH, but it will get its real designation in due course. The team has chosen to make a deal with Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri, who will be the test drivers of the new car. Dillmann…

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LMP2 slowed even further

The LMP2 category in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series, and Asian Le Mans Series will have their on-track performance slowed even further than initially planned. Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced, that they have to slow the LMP2 category a bit more since the performance gap to the new Hyperar category otherwise would be too small. It’s been planned for a long time, that LMP2 would have a slight power reduction, but that now turned into 400kW power output compared to the 450kW last year. That…

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Iron Dames with significant changes

The Iron Dames programme will have quite a different look, compared to what was previously announced for the 2021 season. The outfit, which is a part of the Iron Lynx team, did reveal their driver line-up just over a month ago, but has opted to shake things up a bit shortly before the season start. The original plan was to have the previous ELMS driving team of Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Manuela Gostner move up to FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2021 season, but that is going to…

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