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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

WEC delays plans to broaden full-season grid to 40 automobiles

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Sequence organisers the FIA and the Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest outlined their thought to keep up the scale of the entry at 2023 ranges over the course of final weekend’s Bahrain WEC season finale, whereas insisting that they’re nonetheless engaged on an growth.

WEC boss Frederic Lequien described 37 automobiles, the identical quantity as this 12 months, as “the best quantity”.

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“That’s the plan, however the purpose is to extend the grid in 2025,” he stated.

The FIA and the ACO have arrived at 37 automobiles as a result of that is the variety of pit bins accessible on the Imola and Austin rounds in April and September respectively.

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They’re the tracks on the 2024 schedule with the smallest pit complexes.

There have been 38 automobiles on the entry printed for this 12 months, however the #88 Porsche 911 RSR run by Proton Competition as much as and together with the Le Mans 24 Hours and the #99 963 LMDh it fielded from the subsequent race at Monza had been successfully one and the identical entry.

The plan to go as much as 40 automobiles proved “too sophisticated for the refuelling of the automobiles”, defined ACO president Pierre Fillon.

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#99 Proton Competitors Porsche 963: Gianmaria Bruni, Harry Tincknell, Neel Jani

It required some or the entire groups within the new LMGT3 class that replaces GTE Am for subsequent 12 months to run each their entries out of a single storage.

“Two automobiles in the identical storage would imply two completely different refuelling methods [or rigs]; it’s unfair,” continued Fillon.

No perception was supplied by the FIA and the ACO how they may overcome this drawback for 2025 when Aston Martin will arrive within the Hypercar class and Lamborghini is predicted to run a second of its SC63 LMDhs.

Fillon said that no choices on how the grid shall be break up between the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes, the one two courses within the WEC from subsequent 12 months after the disappearance of LMP2, have been made.

He insisted this shall be determined after entries shut on 20 November through the subsequent assembly of the FIA/ACO choice committee.

FIA Endurance Fee president Richard Mille confirmed that the organisers predict the entry to be oversubscribed.

With regard to turning away entries, he stated: “We now have, sadly, to make this resolution, which isn’t straightforward.”

It appears sure, nonetheless, that the full-season WEC grid subsequent 12 months shall be made up of 19 automobiles in Hypercar and 18 in LMGT3.

There ought to be 20 functions in Hypercar if Ferrari pushes ahead with its plan to run three automobiles.

#11 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 LMH-C: Marco Bonanomi, Jean-Karl Vernay

Photograph by: Isotta Fraschini

#11 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 LMH-C: Marco Bonanomi, Jean-Karl Vernay

That quantity consists of just one entry from WEC newcomer Isotta Fraschini, which has confirmed that it has dropped plans for a second of its Tipo 6 Competizione Le Mans Hypercars.

The 9 producers in LMGT3 are set to be Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Lexus, Lamborghini, BMW, Ford and McLaren every with two automobiles.

There are additionally potential entrants desirous to run Mercedes and Audi equipment in LMGT3.

The ACO has additionally clarified the way forward for the LMGT3 class in its European Le Mans Sequence.

Solely these producers represented in LMGT3 within the WEC shall be allowed to provide automobiles to the groups operating within the class within the ELMS, which is predicted to quantity solely 10 or 12 automobiles.

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