|FIA World Endurance Championship 2013|
The FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) is a collaboration between the FIA (Federation Internationale de L'Automobile) and the ACO (Automobile Club de L'Ouest). The FIA is the governing body for world motorsport whilst the ACO is the body responsible for running the Le Mans 24 Hours and for putting together the rules and regulations that have governed Endurance racing worldwide for decades.
In essence the FIA World Endurance Championship brings the cars that race at Le Mans to international circuits around the world. This brings the top of endurance racing teams to a worldwide sportscar audience.
Born from the basis of the successful Intercontinental Le Mans Cup the FIA WEC had a successful first season in 2012 and intends to develop that programme in 2013. The championship is designed to attract manufacturer interest back to the endurance racing discipline and the early signs are that it is being successful thus far in that regard.
The Championship will be visiting 8 circuits in 8 different countries as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar for 2013.
The top LMP1 category is for the fastest prototypes, pure racing cars. This is a class that has been dominated in recent years by diesel powered cars from Audi but 2012 saw the rise of the Hybrid in endurance racing. Both the factory teams of Toyota and Audi claimed outright wins with their versions of the petrol and diesel hybrid systems. Toyota have the momentum going in to 2013 having overcome early difficulties to defeat Audi in 3 of the last four races in the 2012 season.
The ‘baby’ prototype class, LMP2, looks set to be hotly contested too with a hefty grid of production engined, Pro-Am crewed cars currently assembling – Lola, HPD, Pescarolo and Oreca chassis are teamed with Nissan, Honda and Judd BMW power – It looks likely to provide a real race within a race for 2013.
As will the two GT classes, GTE Pro reserved for the newest cars and all Pro driver line ups – GTE Am for cars at least a year old with Pro-Am line ups.
Aston Martin Racing look set to challenge again in 2013 with a full factory effort and they will be joined on the grid by several examples from Ferrari, Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche. GTE racing is well worth watching as a stand alone formula – Put the Prototypes into the mix and there is never a dull moment!
The 2013 FIA WEC season takes in 3 races in Europe, then takes in Brazil, USA, Japan and China before finishing up in Bahrain. There is a mix of traditional circuits and modern designed tracks to give a challenge to everyone. Please use the side menu for more information about each race.
With so many races happening in so many different parts of the World the FIA WEC offers a real opportunity to race fans to expand their global horizons – Experience a new event, Experience a new country, Experience a new culture – Just experience it! Believe me you won’t regret it.
Graham Goodwin, Editor, Dailysportscar.com