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Record Top-Category Field Headlines 38-Car Season Entry

WEC reveals entry list for 2023 season including record 13 cars in top class…

Image: FIA WEC

The FIA World Endurance Championship has revealed a provisional 38-car entry list for the upcoming season that features a record 13 cars in the headlining Hypercar class.

With the popularity of the new LMH and LMDh regulations bearing fruit, it represents the largest top-category grid for the FIA and ACO-run series after ten prior seasons.

Many of the Hypercar entries and driver lineups had previously been confirmed, including the two-car factory efforts from LMH manufacturers Ferrari, Peugeot and reigning champion Toyota, as well as the LMDh operations from Porsche and Cadillac.

Of note, non-hybrid LMH constructor ByKolles — competing under the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team name — has had its entry request approved for the coming season.

ByKolles had its application to join the 2022 grid rejected, however the FIA has now cleared the Austrian-flagged, German-based former LMP1 team to compete with its Gibson V8-powered Vanwall Vandervell 680.

Fellow non-hybrid LMH manufacturer Glickenhaus is set to return after claiming an overall podium at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Hypercar field is completed by customer Porsche 963s from JOTA and Proton Competition, although its respective debuts depend on when the LMDh cars are delivered.

A non-hybrid LMH car that is being developed by revived Italian automaker Isotta Fraschini is not included in the Hypercar entry. The team stated ambitions of joining the WEC grid from the third round at Spa.

The second-tier LMP2 prototype class contains 11 full-season Oreca 07 Gibsons.

As previously confirmed, there are two-car programs for United Autosports, Team WRT, Alpine and Prema. After running a grandfathered LMP1 car for two seasons, Renault brand Alpine is dropping to LMP2 as it awaits the 2024 debut of its new LMDh.

Two of last season’s Hypercar championship runners-up, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao, are the first named drivers in the Signatech-run Orecas which have been rebranded as Alpine A470 Gibsons.

Reigning LMP2 champion JOTA has scaled back to a single-car entry as it prepares to compete in the Hypercar ranks, while Vector Sport and Inter Europol Competition are continuing in the class with one Oreca each.

GTE-Am Largest Category With 14 Cars

With Porsche and Ferrari heading to Hypercar, the GTE-Pro division is no longer active, leaving GTE-Am as the sole production-based class for its final year in the WEC.

Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Chevrolet will be represented, with the latter joining GTE-Am for the first time with former GTE-Pro factory squad Corvette Racing.

Reigning champion Ben Keating has switched to Corvette, although his previous team TF Sport has retained its two-car Aston Martin Vantage GTE program.

The British outfit will run the No. 25 Aston Martin for Oman Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy, who has driven for TF in the GT3 discipline for several years, and the No. 777 for Japanese customer D’station Racing.

Iron Lynx has switched GTE manufacturers from Ferrari to Porsche and will run two examples of the German manufacturer’s Porsche 911 RSR-19, including one for the Iron Dames female driver initiative.

The Italian team is working as Lamborghini’s official LMDh team partner for the 2024 season and will start running the Italian marque’s GT3 cars this year.

Proton Competition is also running two Porsches, with Christian Ried and Harry Tincknell listed in each, while GR Racing and Team Project 1 have solo Porsche entries.

Iron Lynx’s move to Porsche in WEC has removed two Ferrari 488 GTE Evos from the grid, although this has been partially offset by Kessel Racing arriving with a single car involving factory driver Daniel Serra and IMSA LMP2 race winner Scott Huffaker.

AF Corse will again have three Ferraris, including the No. 21 car which introduces GT3 ace Ulysse de Pauw to the lineup alongside Simon Mann and Stefano Costantini.

Thomas Flohr’s No. 54 entry is back for its seventh season, while Luis Perez Companc is the nominated Bronze in the No. 83 Richard Mille-backed machine.

The 2023 WEC season begins with the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 17 and consists of seven rounds, including the centennial 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

“It is truly fantastic to see the WEC and sport scar racing overall going from strength to strength,” said WEC CEO Frederic Lequien.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a very warm welcome to our friends at Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche and Vanwall who join our Hypercar class this year – it’s a huge honor to have so many global car manufacturers committing to the WEC and putting their trust in our championship.

“It’s also very encouraging to see strong entries in LMP2 as well as a record LMGTE Am field too – the WEC is shaping up for its best season to date.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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