A new year means a new racing season
🔶 News flash
✑ NEW 25/01:
Richard Mille Racing Team enters all-female trio for WEC LMP2 campaign
© FIA WEC
After a promising rookie campaign in the ELMS last year, the all-female trio that makes up the Richard Mille Racing Team will step up to the world stage for 2021. Confirmed to drive the ORECA 07 Gibson LMP2 car will be Beitske Visser (Netherlands), Sophia Flörsch (Germany) and Tatiana Calderón (Colombia).
✑ 24/01: Due to the uncertainties linked to the health crisis, the ticket office for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Auto will not reopen before the beginning of April. The ACO will come back to us by the end of March with more information.
✑ 23/01: There are this year no cars from Aston Martin in the GTE-Pro category.
✑ It has just been announced that Round 1 of this season, the 8 Hours of Portimão, will take place from 2-4 April 2021. Due to the rapid evolution of coronavirus, as well as various changing directives from Governments in different countries including travel restrictions, the WEC did not want to take any unnecessary risks. With freight due to be sent to the USA imminently, a decision needed to be made early to help teams prepare for the 2021 season. With this in mind and the majority of the championship’s teams being based in Europe, after consulting IMSA, Sebring International Raceway and the FIA, a decision was made to hold the first race of the year on the continent. Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve International Circuit will also host the Prologue, the WEC’s official pre-season test from 30-31 March.
🔶 WEC Entry list
As expected, the 2021 competitors have been announced a few days ago. As planned, the LMP1 category no longer exists and has been replaced by the long awaited, at least in my case, Hypercars.
The arrival of the Hypercar category, represented this season by Toyota and Glickenhaus, joined by Alpine, heralds a bright future for endurance racing.
Peugeot Sport’s participation will begin in 2022, with Porsche and Audi confirmed for 2023.
The Alpine car is in fact a LMP1NH (Not Hybrid) and is a kind of partnership with the Swiss Rebellion team which left the WEC championship at the end of the 2020 season. The car is developed on the basis of an Oreca chassis with a Gibson engine, the formula which was used by the cars of the afore mentioned Rebellion team.
🔶 Races schedule (Provisional)
Pre-season testing in Sebring – 13th & 14th March
▫️ Pre-season testing in Portimão – 13th & 14th March (replaces Sebring)
1.000 Miles of Sebring – 19th March
▫️ 8 Hours of Portimão – 4th April (replaces Sebring)
▫️ 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps – 1st May
▫️ 24 Hours of Le Mans – 12th & 13th June
▫️ 6 Hours of Monza – 18th July
▫️ 6 Hours of Fuji – 26th Septembre
▫️ 6 Hours of Bahrain – 20th Novembre
🔶 Le Mans 24H
The complete list of participants will be made available later in the year
🔶 Bits & Pieces
▫️ For the first time in WEC history, two 100% female crews will participate in the entire championship: Richard Mille Racing Team (LMP2) and Iron Lynx (LMGTE Am). The six women entered set the record for female drivers in an FIA World Championship.
▫️ It should be noted that the presence in WEC also guarantees all competitors an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for next June. Among the more anecdotal changes, it should be recalled that the choice of numbers is no longer imposed by the organisers. Each team can now choose the one of its choice, but also the possibility of styling it, while respecting the colour code specific to each of the four WEC categories.