WEC kicks off Season with new Hypercar category
FIA WEC 9th Season will start with a new era for endurance racing with the introduction of the new Hypercar category and will see two all-female line-ups for the first time in its history.
Toyota has already unveiled its Hypercar challenger for 2021, with Peugeot set to follow suit in 2022 followed by Porsche and Audi.
The new top class in the FIA World Endurance Championship – including the 24 Hour of Le Mans – will be called Hypercar. The new class will feature two types of car, LMH (Le Mans Hypercar from 2021) and LMDh (Le Mans, Daytona h, from 2022).
In this WEC Season there will also be two all-female line-ups for the first time in WEC’s history with Richard Mille Racing in LMP2 and Iron Lynx in LMGTE Am.
Richard Mille Racing Team’s No. 1 car will be driven by Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch and Beitske Visser, while for Iron Lynx Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting will be behind the wheel.
The quality of entries in all four categories is split almost equally between prototypes and GTEs.
Key Facts and Figures, 2021 FIA WEC Entry List:
- Thirty-three entries representing 12 nations include Italy (7), Germany (6), Great Britain (5), USA (4), Japan (3), France (2), Switzerland (1), Poland (1), Netherlands (1), Denmark (1), Belgium (1), Slovakia (1)
- Five entries in Hypercar, 11 in LMP2, four in LMGTE Pro and 13 in LMGTE Am
- Marques include Toyota, Ferrari, Porsche, Glickenhaus and Alpine
- Six full-time female entrants is a record number of women to compete in an FIA World Championship
- World Champions Toyota Gazoo Racing to field two all-new Toyota GR010 Hybrids with an unchanged driver line-up for 2021
- Glickenhaus Racing submits two Glickenhaus 007 LMH entries following intensive development on its Hypercar programme alongside Joest Racing and Sauber
- Alpine Elf Malmut to enter WEC’s top-tier category with a non-Hybrid LMP1 (Alpine A480 Gibson)
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, said: “Hypercar marks a turning point for endurance racing. This new top class is the dawn of a bright future for the discipline with Toyota, Glickenhaus and Alpine ready to engage in thrilling battles on the track. Despite today’s adverse conditions, the grid remains impressive, and our championship as popular as ever. To the delight of the FIA and the ACO, who have been encouraging women to join the fray, the field comprises two all-women teams. A first! See you in a few weeks’ time for the start of what promises to be a sensational season.”
- Largest ever LMP2 field in WEC history with a total of 11 entries from nine different nations including Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and USA
- First-ever all-female line-up in LMP2 with Richard Mille Racing Team’s No. 1 car which will be driven by Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch and Beitske Visser
- Big motorsport names are set to compete in LMP2 includes the likes of former F1 drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Stoffel Vandoorne, 2014 WEC World Champion Anthony Davidson, reigning Formula E World Champion Antonio Felix da Costa, plus four-time Le Mans category winner, Jan Magnussen. Reigning LMP2 and ELMS Champions Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson also return for 2021
- Chassis manufacturers Oreca and Ligier both represented
- Four teams moving up from European Le Mans Series to world stage – DragonSpeed USA, Inter Europol Competition, RealTeam Racing and Richard Mille Racing Team
- Ferrari and Porsche to go head-to-head for LMGTE Pro manufacturer battle
- Ferrari remains most successful GTE manufacturer in WEC history, with the marque having claimed six titles
- 2018/2019 World GT Champions Porsche return with Porsche 911 RSR – 19 in quest for another title
- No. 51 Ferrari line-up unchanged, while Daniel Serra replaces Davide Rigon in newly numbered No. 52 car alongside Miguel Molina
- No. 91 Porsche remains the same with Neel Jani replacing Michael Christensen in the No. 92 sister car
- Record multi-marque LMGTE Am field comprising of 13 entries (five Ferrari, five Porsche and three Aston Martin cars)
- Newcomers Iron Lynx (Ferrari) with two cars and D’station Racing (Aston Martin) boost the category
- First all-female line-up in LMGTE Am with No. 85 Iron Lynx entry fronted by Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting
- Italian team Cetilar Racing transition from LMP2 to LMGTE Am and Ferrari for 2021
- Gulf Racing renamed as GR Racing
- Return of several familiar teams such as AF Corse, Dempsey-Proton Racing, Aston Martin Racing and TF Sport
Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission, commented: “I’m pleased looking at this season’s entry list. The FIA WEC managed to attract a strong and diverse grid, which is something particularly impressive in the wake of the current health and economic climate.
“There will surely be numerous fascinating storylines over the course of the season. We’ll witness a milestone in the history of endurance racing with the debut of world’s first Le Mans Hypercar. There are several strong line ups entered in LMP2 and LMGTE machinery and we can expect fierce competition in these categories. It’s also great to see the two all-female line ups, who competed at Le Mans last year, stepping up to the FIA WEC full time.”