ABOUT FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP.
A CHALLENGE OF SPEED
WEC is the acronym for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which is an endurance race series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race hailed as one of the three greatest car races in the world.
The history of this series traces its roots back to the World Sports Car Championship launched in 1953, and changes in its name and regulations, it continued until 1992. The current WEC was started in 2012 and enters its sixth season this year. The races of the series are each six hours long, with the exception of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Two types of the cars & Four classes
The cars competing in the WEC are divided into two types, sports prototype cars and grand touring cars (GT cars) and these are divided into four classes based on regulations concerning the car and drivers, etc., and each of these classes is competed for driver and manufacturer titles, etc. The names of the classes are LM P1 and LM P2 for the sports prototype cars and LM GTE-Pro and LM GTE-Am for the GT cars. Each car bears stickers showing the class it is participating in.
Also, the carmaker-based teams competing in the LM P1 class are required to enter hybrid cars, which to be competitive must mount systems with the most advanced hybrid technologies.
Under the sporting regulations the drivers are ranked by their experience and achievement in motorsport into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each class has specific requirements on driver lineups.
LM P1-H / LM P1
This is the very top class of the WEC in which the TS050 HYBRID competes. It is split into two classes. One is LM P1-H (Hybrid) for manufacturers' works hybrid-powered cars with Energy Recovery System (ERS) and with a minimum weight of 875kg. The other is LM P1 (Non Hybrid) for privateer non-hybrids. Both of them must be closed cockpit, and the maximum width is 1,900mm. Engine capacity is not subject to restrictions; instead, there is limitation on energy consumption and fuel flow. No Bronze drivers are permitted to enter in this class.
This class is defined as being “a category especially for privateers” and employs “cost capping”. The regulation for LM P2 has undergone significant change for the 2017 season. Four chassis manufacturers and a single engine manufacturer (Gibson Technology) are allowed. The engine is 4.2litre V8 naturally-aspirated petrol. One of the drivers must be in Silver or Bronze category.
LM GTE Pro
A two-door production GT car with 2 or 2+2 seats, constructed by an ACO-recognized manufacturer. The maximum total length is 4,800mm, and the front and rear overhangs are a maximum of 1,250mm/1,100mm. The total width can be extended up to +100mm, but the total height and wheelbase must be the same as the original model.
LM GTE Am
This class is provided for gentleman drivers, and unlike the LM GTE Pro, the car must be at least one year old or have the same specifications as the car from the previous year. LM GTE Pro has no restrictions on the driver category while in LM GTE Am at least one Bronze and one Bronze or Silver must be included in a crew.
The 2017 season will see nine races competed in nine different countries. The season opener takes place at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK in April and continues through its first half with races around Europe including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France with its long tradition.
The second half of the season takes the series to North America and Asia before ending with the final round in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit in November.