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2015 Silly Season Update 1: GTE-Pro/GTE-Am

A look at the potential entries for FIA WEC GTE-Pro/Am classes in 2015…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

While the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship still has three rounds remaining, teams are already planning for 2015, which could see a capacity grid in the globe-trotting sports car series.

Sportscar365 takes a look at the confirmed and possible entries for the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes.

GTE-Pro:

AF Corse — While not yet officially confirmed, The Amato Ferrari-led squad is working towards a return with a pair of factory backed Prancing Horses. The successful pairing of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander is likely to continue, with its two new full-season additions, Davide Rigon and James Calado, could also continue in 2015. (2 cars likely)

Aston Martin Racing — The factory Prodrive squad is likely to return with at least two Aston Martin Vantage GTEs in the Pro class next year. It would seem logical for Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke to continue, while the status of the Craft-Bamboo-backed No. 99 car is unclear at this point. (2 cars likely)

Porsche Team Manthey — While its North American program is confirmed for next year, the works Manthey-run operation is apparently still awaiting final approval. However, there doesn’t appear to be any reason not to see the team continue in a similar capacity from 2014. (2 cars likely)

ProSpeed Competition — The Belgian squad, led by Rudi Penders, could step up to the Pro class with a new entry next year. While a Porsche 911 RSR would be the logical choice, the team is evaluating multiple chassis options, including the possibility of a customer Corvette C7.R. (1 car possible)

Estimated Car Count: 6-7 entries

GTE-Am:

AF Corse — Despite withdrawing both of its entries from this year’s Shanghai round, there’s unlikely to be any shortage of customers for AF’s GTE-Am effort for 2015. The Italian squad could field up to two of its own entries, while potentially operating two other efforts. (1-2 cars likely)

Aston Martin Racing The British manufacturer is likely to continue with at least two customer Vantage GTEs, one for Paul Dalla Lana, while the continuation of the championship-leading “Dane Train” effort would seem logical as well. A third full-season GTE-Am Vantage is also possible. (2-3 cars likely)

Dempsey Racing/Proton — With the future of its U.S.-based operation in question, following multiple layoffs last week, including its IMSA team manager, the Dempsey Racing name is likely to live on in the FIA WEC, with Proton poised to run the effort. Patrick Dempsey hasn’t hidden his desire to step up to the world’s stage, although there’s been no word on who his co-drivers will be. (1 car likely)

Proton Competition — Whether Proton’s core team continues alongside a possible Dempsey effort is unclear. Team boss Christian Ried has been joined by Khaled Al Qubaisi and Klaus Bachler this year in their 2013-spec Porsche 911 RSR. (1 car possible)

ProSpeed Competition — The Belgian squad’s Porsche customer program for Francois Perrodo is likely to continue, with Emmanuel Collard to join his countryman in the Porsche 911 RSR. The future of Matthieu Vaxiviere is unclear, depending on the Frenchman’s driver rating for 2015. (1 car likely)

SMP Racing — After two GTE titles in the ELMS, the Russian team is tempted to step up to the world’s stage with a Ferrari, to run alongside its two LMP2 cars. (1 car possible)

Black Falcon Racing —Rumor has it the GT3 specialists, known for its success with Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s in 24-hour races, could be looking for a move into the FIA WEC next year with a Ferrari.  (1 car possible)

AIM Autosport — The Canadian squad could join forces with AF Corse for a joint program for Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and a third to-be-determined American driver. Depending on funding, this could be a partial-season program. (1 car possible – partial season)

GB Autosport — The Michael Avenatti-led GB Autosport squad could be taking a similar path in GTE-Am, with a partial season program with another existing FIA WEC team being evaluated for the Tully’s Coffee-sponsored effort. Multiple car options are understood to be under consideration. (1 car possible – partial season)

Estimated Car Count: 6-9 full-season entries

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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