FIA World Endurance Championship WEC
The Le Mans 24-hour long-distance classic once again represents the ultimate highlight of the FIA World Endurance Championship season in 2017. In addition, there are eight other races on the calendar of the prestigious long-distance championship. In the premier LMP1 class, the Porsche LMP Team is determined to defend the title and clinch the 19th overall victory at Le Mans with the 919 Hybrid. After a year’s break, the Porsche factory squad again returns to contest the GTE-Pro class, in which a world championship title is awarded. The Porsche GT Team fields two new 911 RSR.
In the world championship-winning car with the starting number 1, Neel Jani (Switzerland) has new teammates. Replacing Marc Lieb (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Porsche newcomer André Lotterer (Germany) are new to the LMP1 driver squad. In the cockpit of the sister 919 Hybrid, New Zealander Earl Bamber replaces the retired Mark Webber (Australia) as the teammate of Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Brendon Hartley (New Zealand). Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, who drove the 911 RSR last season, scored the overall win at Le Mans in 2015 at the wheel of the 919 Hybrid. André Lotterer, who came from Audi, has three Le Mans victories to his credit and was the 2012 World Endurance Champion.
Fielding two new 911 RSR, Porsche returns with a factory team to contest the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class in the WEC and at Le Mans. The driver lineup so far includes Michael Christensen (Denmark), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria). At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Patrick Pilet (France/91) and Dirk Werner (Germany/92) will join the team.
Growing spectator numbers
The 2012-inaugurated Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC is the world’s most important and attractive race series for prototypes and sports cars. In addition to Porsche, the well-known automobile manufacturers Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford and Toyota are represented by factory teams. Interest around the world has skyrocketed from year to year. In 2016, new records were set: more than 600,000 spectators came to the nine races, the most popular race after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which attracted over 250,000 fans, was the Nürburgring round with 58,000 spectators. 55,000 spectators saw the Shanghai event live – this represents an increase of almost 20 percent compared to the previous season. The maiden WEC race in Mexico City attracted 38,000 fans.
TV coverage around the world underscores the sporting value of this championship. The Le Mans classic was broadcast by 31 international TV stations in 190 countries. Eurosport alone aired 50 hours, reaching 23 million viewers. The U.S. channel FOX TV with FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 achieved an even greater global presence since 2015. The programmes of the TV giant can be viewed in 73 countries around the world.
Sports prototypes and sports cars contest the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC in four different classes. The LMP1 and LMP2 classes are reserved for sports prototypes. The GTE-Pro class is for modified standard sports cars like the Porsche 911 RSR. These vehicles are also eligible to run in the GTE Am class, but only if they comply with the GTE-Pro specifications of the previous years. In the GTE-Am class, the FIA regulations stipulate that a crew of 2 or 3 drivers must include at least one bronze plus one bronze or silver driver.
In the 2017 season, an official world championship title is awarded not only for the LMP1 class, but also in the GTE-Pro category. This enhances the class enormously. At the individual races, points are awarded for the ten top places in each class as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. The only exception to this is the Le Mans 24 Hours with the points allocated as follows: 50-36-30-24-20-16-12-8-4-2. One point is awarded for pole position.
|16 April||6 Hours of Silverstone, Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Great Britain|
|06. Mai||6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa,Belgium|
|17/18 June||24 Hours of Le Mans, Circuit des 24 Heures, Le Mans, France|
|16 July||6 Hours of Nürburgring, Adenau, Germany|
|03 September||6 Hours of Mexico, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico|
|16 September||6 Hours of Austin, Circuit of the Americas, Austin, USA|
|15 October||6 Hours of Fuji, Fuji International Speedway, Oyama, Japan|
|05 November||6 Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China|
|18 November||6 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain|
The races are contested over six hours. The only exception is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) is run with FIA as the governing body. The organiser is the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).
World Endurance Championship
Circuit 24 Heures
F–72019 Le Mans Cedex 2
FIA WEC Media Manager
Mobile +44 7770 371332
FIA WEC Communications Manager
Tel. +33 6 81 50 55 65