The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship gets underway in Spa-Francorchamps next month with the Official Prologue and round one of WEC Season 9 which sees a total of 37 cars on the first version of the entry list.
Five Hypercars, 14 LMP2s, five LMGTE Pro cars and 13 LMGTE Am entries make up the impressive roster of teams and star-studded driver names that will compete at the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (29 April – 1 May), which will be staged behind closed doors.
Heralding the start of a brand-new era in sportscar racing will be the headline Hypercar category which will see five cars go head-to-head in the WEC’s premier racing class. Toyota Gazoo Racing has entered two full-season entrants with the all-new Toyota GR010 HYBRID although the driver line-up in the No. 7 and No. 8 cars remains unchanged for 2021.
Meanwhile, US-based team Glickenhaus Racing has entered a pair of 007 Hypercars. Confirmed to drive the No. 708 car will be America’s Gustavo Menezes, while Australian Ryan Briscoe is set to pilot the No. 709 sister car. Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux have all been confirmed as team drivers in 2021 but it hasn’t been confirmed which pilots will join which car for Belgium.
French squad Alpine Elf Matmut will enter an Alpine A480 Gibson in the Hypercar category with its trio of drivers who were confirmed earlier this week: Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere.
In addition to the 11 full-season LMP2 entries, US-based PR1 Motorsports and triple ELMS Champions G-Drive Racing have entered cars into the ever-popular WEC category. G-Drive Racing’s two Aurus 01 Gibson cars makes it three different chassis constructors competing in LMP2 with the Ligier JSP217 of ARC Bratislava going up against the two Aurus entries from G-Drive and rest of the field consisting of the highly-proven ORECA 07 Gibson. As always, the LMP2 field is one of the toughest classes in the WEC with a string of world-class teams and drivers set to battle it out on track.
Flying the flag for Belgium, and the only home driver on the entry list so far, will be JOTA’s Stoffel Vandoorne who has two WEC starts to his name including two podium finishes at Spa in 2019 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans later that year.
LMGTE Pro will see the category’s key manufacturers – Porsche and Ferrari – go head-to-head for GTE supremacy. AF Corse Ferrari’s No. 52 car sees a driver change for 2021, as Daniel Serra takes to the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo alongside Miguel Molina. Meanwhile, Porsche GT Team also sees a driver swap with Switzerland’s Neel Jani joining Kevin Estre in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. Joining the GTE Pro field for Spa will be the No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R entered by American team Corvette Racing. Antonio Garcia (Spain) and Oliver Gavin (UK) are named on the entry list and will mark the first time the duo has shared a car in their Corvette Racing careers.
Finally, LMGTE Am sees a healthy field of 13 entries, which is made up of five Porsche 911 RSR – 19 cars, five Ferrari 488 GTE Evos and three Aston Martin Vantage AMR cars. For the first time in WEC’s history, a total of six females will compete in this year’s season-opener which includes the three females from LMP2 squad the Richard Mille Racing Team and the all-female line-up entered under the Iron Lynx LMGTE Am team banner.
The official pre-season test, otherwise known as The Prologue, will be staged at the Belgian circuit from 26-27 April with the main event – the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – getting underway on Saturday 1 May.