38 cars of all time and 13 of them alone in the main hypercar class. The FIA WEC starts the 2023 season with a strong field. SPEEDWEEK.com takes a look at the starters list and reflects on it.
The World Sportscar Championship (FIA WEC) is facing an exciting 2023 season. After almost many years of changes, the WEC finally has a field worthy of the World Championship again in 2023. The number of only 38 cars is impressive. But the most surprising thing is the fact that 13 hypercars will fight for the overall victory. This has never happened before in this form in the WEC and promises a great race. But don’t forget: Of course, the Balance of Performance (BoP) will also play a big role.
But there is a small question mark behind the Glickenhaus 007, because the American team has already left the outposts in 2022. It will be interesting to see if the individual racer will compete in all the races in 2023. In Le Mans, however, the team will surely make it big again. Because there may be a second 007 in the spotlight of the season (like 2021 and 2022). Interestingly, Glickenhaus reported Romain Dumas as the pilot. As is known, the Frenchman is also a Porsche works driver. Although Dumas drove for Glickenhaus in 2021 and 2022, Porsche was still not active in the hypercar class. So in 2023 he will compete with his employer in the WEC.
With Vanwall Vandervell 680, the second personal LMH is finally represented. In 2022, entry was still denied, so that only one year of testing was completed with the car. It seems that all the controversy between the team and the racing series has now been resolved, so that the approval can be given. Along with Jacques Villeneuve, there is also a well-known name in the cockpit. The 1997 F1 World Champion drove the Peugeot LMP1 works in 2007 and 2008. But he did not cover himself in glory, especially in the rain at Le Mans in 2008. It remains to be seen how he will do in the top class almost 15 years later.
Isotta Fraschini is not on the guest list. LMH’s personal project wanted to compete in the WEC with the Tipo 6 Competizione. The nature of the project is probably still too new for the organizers of the series. The first monocoque was released only a few days ago, so that the first car could be assembled. Only then can test drives begin. Isotta Fraschini has already spoken and has promised to start this season as a goalkeeper. But the series organizers will have to agree to that first.
There is little that is surprising about the three LMH factory teams. Peugeot and Toyota are competing with two cars each. The same pilots who finished the 2022 season are in the cockpit. The new Ferrari is also represented by two cars. The brand from Maranello had already announced six pilots of its own shortly before.
The admission list advertisement does not contain any information about the LMDh’s job duties. Both at Porsche and Cadillac, the pilots were temporarily stationed. Either way, Cadillac will have another car on the grid at Le Mans, which will be maintained by Action Express Racing. Perhaps Cadillac Racing (i.e. Chip Ganassi Racing) will be able to assemble another car in the classic Sarthe game. Then there would be three Cadillacs there.
Two privateer Porsche 963s will not be on the grid at the season opener at Sebring. When exactly the two private cars will finish their first race has yet to be finally decided. The direction is towards Biashara-Francorchamps at the end of April. In any case, along with Yifei Ye (Hertz Team Jota) and Gianmaria Bruni (Proton Racing), there are also official Porsche drivers in the cockpit. This also shows how only Swabians take personal entries.
With eleven cars, the LMP2 class is once again strong and crowded. 2023 could be the last year of LMP2 in the WEC (outside of Le Mans). So the class would say goodbye in style. Not surprisingly, only Oreca 07s were reported (two Alpine 470s are also called Oreca 07s). With Prema Racing, Vector Sport, United Autosports, Jota, WRT, Inter Europol and Signatech (they look after the two Alpines) there is really good quality here. So it will be an exciting race again.
The GTE cars will also last in 2023. From 2024, the GT3 will replace the GT in the WEC. It’s great that all four GTE brands are represented by the Corvette C8.R, Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, Porsche 911 RSR and Aston Martin Vantage AMR. Above all, the personal Corvette with Ben Keating and Nicky Catsburg will cause enthusiasm. Due to the fact that the Iron Lynx/Iron Dames switched from Ferrari to Porsche for 2023, the 911 RSR is the most used car with six models. At least one copper driver must be in the car for each car in the class. Therefore, his performance will be decisive in terms of podium places and class wins. At this point, a temporary entry list for further reading.