World Championship titles for GTE drivers and manufacturers will be added to the FIA World Endurance Championship beginning next year, following Wednesday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council Meeting in Vienna.
The WMSC approved the WEC’s proposal to elevate the GT World Cup titles to World Championship status alongside the World Drivers’ Championship and Manufacturers’ World Championship for the LMP1 class, which have been in place since the championship’s inception in 2012.
Four manufacturers are entered in GTE-Pro for next year: Ferrari, Aston Martin, Ford and Porsche, while BMW is set to enter in 2018. Lamborghini and McLaren, meanwhile, are also rumored to be evaluating future efforts.
“I would like to warmly thank Jean Todt, President of the FIA and Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, President of the FIA Endurance Commission, for their total involvement in obtaining this title,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“I would like also to acknowledge the efforts made by the manufacturers and their sporting performances that fully justify this world title label.”
WEC series boss Gerard Neveu added: “The announcement of this world title is excellent news for the WEC and rewards a grid of excellent quality.
“This decision should speed up the arrival of other manufacturers in this category.”
The WMSC also formally approved the 2017 WEC schedule, which sees no changes from the provisional release in September.
As expected, the Six Hours of Nürburgring has been confirmed for July 14-16, marking the first clash with Formula E, which will hold a double-header round in New York City on the same weekend.
A revision in the Formula One calendar, however, has avoided a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the F1 round in Baku having been moved back to the week after the French endurance classic.
John Dagys contributed to this report