ABOUT FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP.
World championship of endurance racing - Pushing the limits of performance
The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is a world championship of endurance racing competed by both prototype cars and GT cars running together. It is organized under the auspices of and regulations, etc., set by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (English: International Automobile Federation), or FIA, with close involvement of France's Automobile Club de l'Ouest (English: Automobile Club of the West), or ACO, which organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
According to the regulations, each race of the championship series must be six hour or longer in duration, and of them the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the longest. The number of series championship points awarded for each race vary in accordance with the respective race's length.
The championship is competed in for classes, two for prototype cars and two for GT cars, for which there are four championship titles and six trophies awarded at the end of the series. Of these, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will be competing in the newly created "Hypercar" class that begins this year as the series' top category.
Up to three drivers per-car are allowed to drive in a given race. In accordance with the "FIA Driver Categorisation regulation," the drivers are classified into the Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze categories based on racing career results, and each of the four classes has its own rules regarding the level of drivers and combinations thereof that can compete.
For two seasons beginning in 2018, the WEC has been competed in "super seasons" that each spanned two years, but from 2021, the series will return to a single-year series format comprising six rounds. This year is designated "season nine" since the current WEC began in 2012, but in fact World Endurance Championship racing has a long history that dates back to 1953. This year's series will have seven rounds, some of which are the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Mille Miglia, 24 Heures de Francorchamps (24 Hours of Spa) and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Japan rounds of the series have been held at Fuji International Speedway from 1982 to 1988, at Suzuka Circuit from 1989 to 1992, including one holding at Autopolis in 1991, and since 2012 it has been held annually at Fuji Speedway (except the 2020 round cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic).
WEC is now to be competed by cars classified into four categories: Hypercar, LMP2, LMGTE Pro, and LMGTE Am.
The Hypercar category is newly introduced this year to replace the LMP1 class, which until last year was the series' premier class, and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing was quick to announce that it will be competing in this new class with its new model, the "GR010 HYBRID." It has also been announced the non-hybrid LMP1 cars used until last year will also be able to compete in this class.
The LMGTE Pro class is designed as the class where endurance-specialized GT cars will compete for the title of No. 1 in the world. Meanwhile, the LMP2 and LMGTE Am are designed as classes with favorable conditions for privateer teams to compete under.
Hypercar（Le Mans Hypercar / LMH）
This is the WEC premier class. Open to cars that comply with the Le Mans Hypercar technical regulation, which gives the cars a larger cockpit and windscreen than the former LMP1 cars and an exterior appearance worthy of the "hypercar" description. The cars of this class include both prototype cars that the carmakers have poured state of the art technology into and race-specific versions of existing road-going hypercars.
Under the regulation, overall length is capped at 5,000 mm, overall width at 2,000 mm and height at 1,150 mm from the reference surface, while machine weight must be no less than 1,030 kg. There are no limits set on engine displacement or number of cylinders, but there is a restriction placed on front-axle drive units for cars with hybrid systems. Concerning tires, Michelin will be the sole supplier.
Thanks to the introduction of balance of performance (BoP) that will result in an equilibration of performance between the cars entered, the first year of competition under this new regulation promises plenty of close and heated racing.
The cars of this class carry red-based race numbers. There are no restrictions on driver combinations but participation by Bronze class drivers is prohibited.
Le Mans Prototype 2（LMP2）
This is the prototype category for privateer teams. There is a cap on the size of budget allowed for the teams and they must use chassis that are constructed with a cap on cost decided by four designated constructors. As for the engine, only one make is used, which is a 4.2-liter, V8, naturally aspirated engine.
The cars have a closed body with an overall length capped at 4,750 mm, overall width at no less than 1,800 mm and no wider than 1,900 mm, and overall height at no less than 1,050 mm, while machine weight must be no less than 930 kg. The fuel tank must hold no more than 75 liters.
The race number base color is blue. The team driver make-up must include one Silver or one Bronze class driver. For the 2021 series, there will be newly presented LMP2 Pro/Am team and driver trophies.
Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Pro（LM GTE Pro）
As the name indicates, this is the top category for professional teams running GT cars. Each year works teams from the different car manufacturers compete fiercely for this coveted world title. Balance of performance (BoP) regulations are adopted for the category, with a prescribed system by which minimum machine weight is decided based on performance evaluation test results.
Specifications for the cars' fuel tank capacity, rear wing height, air restrictor, turbo boost pressure, etc., are also subjected to BoP regulations. Four-wheel drive is prohibited.Traction control systems are permitted, and brake discs must be made of steel-based alloys. The engines are based on ones mounted in a mass-production model by the same maker, with a minimum of 300 units produced to meet the mass-production requirement. The engines must be naturally aspirated and have a displacement of no more than 5.5 liters, while the regulation restricts supercharged engines to a displacement of no more than 4 liters.
The race number base color is green. There are no restrictions on the make-up of driver class combinations.
Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Am（LM GTE Am）
This is a category for amateur drivers in which the cars and other basics used are basically the same as in the LMGTE Pro category. However, in the Am class they are limited to cars of the previous year or cars strictly following the regulations from the previous year. This LMGTE Am category has the most cars entering of any category in WEC.
The race number base color is orange. The driver combination for each car must include at least one Bronze level driver, and one more Bronze or Silver driver.
TOTAL 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
8 HOURS OF PORTIMAO
6 HOURS OF MONZA
24 HOURS OF LE MANS
6 HOURS OF BAHRAINS
8 HOURS OF BAHRAINS