Stability in LMP1 with return of Porsche, Audi, Toyota hybrid technology

LMP1 Privateers Rebellion and ByKolles show fidelity to WEC

Strength and multi-national newcomers in LMP2

Addition of Ford to LMGTE Pro ranks alongside Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche

KCMG and Gulf Racing join WEC’s LMGTE Am challengers


The full-season entry list for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, revealed today at a press conference in Paris, represents the strength, stability and success of the WEC that continues to attract manufacturers and teams at the highest level in endurance racing.  

The large grid of 32 cars was announced by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), promoter of the World Endurance Championship, in the presence of VIPs, teams and competitors entered for 2016, and the world’s media both present in Paris and online via the live transmission of the conference.

Stability in LMP1 with return of Porsche, Audi and Toyota

Leading the battle for defence of its World Championship titles in the top LMP1 category for hybrid-powered prototypes will be Porsche.  Profiting from lessons learned in 2015, they will be fiercely challenged by Audi and Toyota, and all six cars entered by these manufacturers will feature the most sophisticated hybrid technology currently in use.  In just four years the WEC has proven itself to be the most relevant motorsport championship in the world as far as the crossover of technology to production vehicles is concerned, upholding a trend started by the 24 Hours of Le Mans over a century ago.

LMP1 Privateers Rebellion and ByKolles show fidelity to WEC

Joining the factory competitors will be three Privateer entries, bringing the total in LMP1 to nine.  Swiss team Rebellion Racing and the Austrian ByKolles Racing Team both show great fidelity to the WEC, and the two Rebellion R-Ones will also introduce a new element to LMP1 this year as they will be shod with Dunlop rubber.

Strength and multi-national newcomers in LMP2

The LMP2 grid will, for the second year in succession, consist of 10 entries, representing seven different nationalities and five different chassis manufacturers.  Joining 2015 LMP2 champions G-Drive Racing from Russia, this year competing with an ORECA 05, will be two BR01 prototypes in the hands of class returnee SMP Racing.  From the USA, Extreme Speed Motorsports return stronger and wiser after a full season in the WEC, ready to challenge for championship titles alongside Britain’s Strakka Racing and the French entered Signatech Alpine team.  Three new teams are welcomed to LMP2 – the Baxi DC Racing Alpine team from China, RGR Sport by Morand from Mexico and the Manor team from Britain.

Addition of Ford to LMGTE Pro ranks alongside Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche

As announced at Le Mans last year, the Ford brand makes a welcome return to top level GTE racing and its inclusion means there will be seven entries in the LMGTE Pro category.  In the hands of Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK, the two entries from the American automotive giant will undoubtedly provide non-stop action and excitement alongside current World GT Champion Porsche – this year represented by Dempsey Proton Racing – plus two new Ferraris from AF Corse and two new Aston Martin Racing challengers.

KCMG and Gulf Racing join WEC’s LMGTE Am challengers

The LMGTE Am class, for cars which are at least one year old and a pro-am driver line up, will feature four different marques among the six entries.  Alongside Aston Martin Racing, AF Corse (Ferrari) and Larbre Competition (Chevrolet Corvette) will be a new full-season entrant to the WEC, Gulf Racing, which makes the step up from the European Le Mans Series. A name more familiar to the LMP2 class of recent years, KCMG from Hong Kong, will – like Gulf Racing – be contesting the WEC with a Porsche.

The WEC calendar features nine rounds across five continents, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans remaining as the cornerstone of the championship.  Beginning with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 17 April, the venues visited during the season will be Spa-Francorchamps (7 May), Le Mans (18-19 June), Nürburgring (24 July), Mexico (3 September), Circuit of The Americas, Austin (17 September), Fuji (16 October), Shanghai (6 November) and Bahrain (19 November).


Quotes on composition of 2016 WEC grid:

Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile:  “The 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship again promises to be a highlight of the global motor sport season. Over each of its first four seasons, the championship has only grown in popularity, and in quality. Last year we witnessed the culmination of Porsche’s return to the pinnacle of sports car racing, using a unique and compact two-litre, turbocharged V4 petrol hybrid engine to win the championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP1 class. It was a triumphant performance – one that will surely motivate both Porsche and its rivals as they approach the new season. Following on from such a battle in 2015, with new cars in every class, a new destination in Mexico City, major commitment from manufacturers and some of the finest drivers anywhere in the sport, the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship will showcase some of the highest level endurance racing of all time.”

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest:  “The 2016 WEC grid represents the highest quality of endurance racing competitors, with strength in depth across all categories.  The multiple nationalities within the 32-strong field show clearly that the WEC offers manufacturers and teams the perfect platform to demonstrate their technologies, skills and partnerships on a global basis.  It is very encouraging to see entries from Latin and North America, Europe and Asia, and also to see the progression of competitors from other series within the endurance pyramid.   This is an excellent grid of cars, and the anticipation of the battles to come is building already.”

Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, President of the FIA Endurance Commission:  “The announcement of the 2016 grid demonstrates that the regulations in place across all classes are absolutely doing the job they were intended for:  to encourage technical innovation and the advancement of new technologies, to promote safety in all areas, and to impose the control of costs so that we can continue to offer a level playing-field for manufacturers in all classes. LMGTE Pro sees the introduction of a new generation of GT cars including the brand new Ford GT, with higher performance and increased safety measures, and we are again fine-tuning the LMP1 regulations to ensure fair competition.”

Gerard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship:  “As we go into the fifth season, and second cycle, of the World Endurance Championship, the 32 high level entries we have attracted show clearly that the WEC offers teams, drivers, partners and stakeholders a unique stage on which to compete.  We visit premier race circuits around the world, including this year a return to Latin America with the 6 Hours of Mexico, and the WEC gives our ever-growing fan base first-class entertainment, drama and excitement, with an incredible level of access to some of the world’s leading drivers and teams.”

Photos:  PAVILLON GABRIEL, PARIS, FRANCE, FRIDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 2016.  Sir Lindsay Owen Jones – President of the FIA Endurance Commission, Bruno Vandestick – the voice of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Pierre Fillon – President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, and Gerard Neveu – CEO of the World Endurance Championship during the presentation of entry lists for the 2016 season.

The Ford GT, RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 Nissan and the Porsche 919 Hybrid WEC entries on display outside Pavillon Gabriel 

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