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WEC to Feature Three Separate Qualifying Sessions in 2023

New WEC qualifying format introduced for 2023; tire warmers banned…

Photo: MPS Agency

The FIA World Endurance Championship will introduce a new qualifying format for the 2023 season, consisting of three 15-minute sessions.

As part of the sporting regulations for next year that were approved during the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting on Wednesday, changes were confirmed with the goal to “make qualifying easier to follow, to guarantee the competitors sufficient driving time and to broaden the window of optimal conditions for setting times.”

Qualifying will now consists of three separate 15-minute sessions, with a dedicated session for each of the championship’s classes (Hypercar, LMP2 and GTE-Am).

This is a change from the previous format, which was brought in ahead of the 2021 season and saw the introduction of two ten-minute sessions, one for prototypes and one for GT cars.

The updated sporting regulations also restricts the number of cars that manufacturers can enter when competing for the FIA Hypercar World Endurance Championship, with a minimum of one and a maximum of two cars.

If a manufacturer wishes to enter any additional cars, those cars must be entered into the new Hypercar Team’s World Cup classification, which will compete alongside privateers.

This would apply to any IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship factory entries coming over to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or any additional WEC rounds.

As previously reported by Sportscar365, the use of tire warmers will be banned in both the WEC and European Le Mans Series from 2023, with the rule set to be introduced into the Asian Le Mans Series next year.

Additionally, the amount of available tire specifications in the Hypercar class will be reduced to two specifications per circuit in 2023 (and three for Le Mans), and to a single specification per circuit (and two for Le Mans) the following year.

The ACO also stated that it may “possibly restrict admission to Hypercar and LMGT3 challengers from 2024” to be able to accommodate both classes amidst growing demand.

Entries for the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be open on Dec. 8 until the end of February.

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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