What will 2023 bring in sports car games?  / race car

What will 2023 bring in sports car games? / race car

In 2023 things will go again at the top of the sports car pyramid. LMH and LMDh will ensure an exciting race. GT racing is also booming. SPEEDWEEK.com looks at the year ahead in the sports car industry.

For drama lovers, there has been a lot of low fare lately. For many years, the fields in the big class (whether at the end of LMP1 or in the supercars) were only slightly filled and more reminiscent of the exhibition sport. Transition year followed transition year and no concept was invented. But that is over now. From 2023, the FIAWEC races (and also the IMSA series) can be watched with confidence again. Because with the concept (of course also a little) of LMH and LMDh, the desire of the manufacturers was rekindled – who made new racing cars as a result.

So Toyota won’t be able to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans that easily. With Peugeot and Ferrari, two new players have emerged in the LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) class, who now want to make it difficult for the Japanese to repeat the victories they have won recently. In addition, with Glickenhaus, Kolles and Isotta Fraschini, three personal projects seek to strengthen the LMH class.

All that already gives enough potential to look forward to a good WEC season (which again includes seven races – starting in March at Sebring). But it gets better. As is known, the WEC and the American IMSA series have agreed to recognize another top class in the future. This brought success to the new LMDh cars (successors to the American DPi). Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche will compete with their new LMDhs in the IMSA series in 2023 and also provide some great races worth seeing.

Cadillac and Porsche also complete doubles programs and also send their LMDhs to the WEC. If the three private projects are all approved, eight brands will be represented in the top tier of the World Cup. This brings back memories of 1999, when the upper class had the same range.

But where there is light, of course there is also shadow. To reconcile the very different concepts (LMH is available with hybrid and non-hybrid – LMDh relies heavily on conventional technology or also on the LMP2 chassis), the Balance of Performance (BoP) will ensure compensation.

And that brings us back to 1999. Back then, manufacturers were free to develop their cars (according to regulations, of course). Whoever built a fast and reliable car won. Performance, innovation and quality were a given. In 2023, the respective classification of the car will determine whether the race can be won or not.

Although in 1999 at Le Mans, every free practice provided excitement, as the spectators could cheer which car was the most improved on the clock, this will not be the case in 2023. The manufacturers will limit their performance so as not to have another bad BoP set. Political games in the background determine victory and defeat. The value of the games suffers. But that doesn’t matter for the show.

Le Mans will be sold out in 2023 – and not many spectators in attendance even know what BoP is. You get an exciting title fight for a long time. It will be the same in other WEC races and in IMSA.

2023 also sees the swan song of the GTE category. In the Pro format, this was already canceled in 2022. As a Pro/Am, it will be allowed to compete again in the WEC and ELMS (European Le Mans Series) in 2023. The class has provided a bit of entertainment (thanks to BoP of course) in the last decade. But now it follows natural purification. The GT3 category will take over the GT category.

The GT3 game was introduced in 2006 and is enjoying great popularity worldwide. (Of course there’s a BoP there too. But since GT cars are based on different concepts sometimes, reconciliation through the BoP is easier to accept than with prototypes, where everyone starts with a blank sheet of paper). In GT3 there are more manufacturers than in prototypes with Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan, Lexus and Acura / Honda. With Ford and Corvette, more additions are in the pipeline, which will enter the competition from 2024. So full parts can still be expected for the big long-distance classics, for example 24h Spa or 24h Nürburgring.

In short: Whether model or GT – sports car racing is doing very well at the moment. Full episodes, multiple genres and great pilots will surely provide a lot of entertainment in 2023. We can all look forward to that.