Next season, it's just going to be just a two-class championship in the World Endurance Championship—the Hypercar class and the new-look LMGT3 class featuring gentlemen drivers racing with many of the world's top sports car racers.
The two-class WEC will be an easier watch, or at least an easier learn, for fans who may be new to sports car racing.
By comparison, the U.S.-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is still going forward with four classes in 2024.
It's easy to like what's going on over at the World Endurance Championship.
The FIA-sanctioned sports car series known most for its marquee 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, has streamlined its class offerings for 2024. One year after the WEC famously combined its GTE and GTE AM classes into one LMGTE class, the WEC has ditched the LMP2 class entirely for 2024.
Next season, it's just going to be just a two-class championship—the Hypercar class (think prototypes like the Toyota GR010 and Cadillac V-Series.R) and the new-look LMGT3 class (think Ford Mustang GT3 and Corvette Z06 GT3.R) featuring gentlemen drivers racing with many of the world's top sports car racers. The LMGT3 class replaces the LMGTE class that has been a staple of the WEC since the series began 2012.
The two-class WEC should be an easier watch for fans who may be new to sports car racing.
By comparison, the U.S.-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is still going forward with four classes in 2024. Those are the GTP (LMDh and LMH machines), LMP2, GTD Pro and GTD. For IMSA, the four classes are the result of a slimming and trimming as well, as the LMP3 class is moving off the main WeatherTech Championship stage and will instead race with the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge series in 2024.
The simplified two-class WEC is proving to be an early hit with the most important folks in sports car racing—the manufactures. A record 19 Hypercars and 18 LMGT3 cars are entered for the 2024 season. A WEC-record 14 manufacturers are entered among those 37 cars.
Manufacturers competing in WEC next year include: Alpine, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Isotta Fraschini, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota.
"The transparent number of entries across both Hypercar and LMGT3 underlines the continued growth of FIA WEC and I’d like to take this moment to thank all our manufacturers and teams for putting their trust in us," said Frédéric Lequien, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. "To have an entry list featuring 19 Hypercars plus 18 LMGT3 entries representing 14 different manufacturers truly reflects the golden era of endurance racing that we are experiencing right now.
"The battles on track next season are going to be extraordinary, and what’s even more exciting is that we are expanding our calendar to eight races so that even more fans can enjoy the action.”
While many teams have yet to announce full driver lineups for 2024 in the WEC, the rosters already include names sure to turn some heads. Those names include seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who will drive for Team WRT in LMGT3. Other names familiar to many race fans include newly-crowned LMP2 champion and former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica who will drive the new AF Corse entered Ferrari 499P Hypercar.
Former Haas F1 and current Mercedes F1 reserve driver Mick Schumacher is part of the Alpine Hypercar team.
Nine manufacturers will compete in the 2024 Hypercar World Championship: Toyota, Cadillac, Ferrari, Peugeot and Porsche. Alpine will move from LMP2 to Hypercar and will join WEC Hypercar newcomers BMW, Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini.
The 2024 season will begin with a prologue event at Qatar on Feb. 24-25. The series will make on stop in the U.S., that being Sept. 1 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Fast Facts and Figures, 2024 FIA WEC Entry List:
(Courtesy the WEC)
• Thirty-seven entries representing eight nations: Italy (10); France (6); Great Britain (6); Germany (5); Belgium (4); USA (2); Japan (3) and Lithuania (1)
• Nineteen entries in Hypercar; 18 in LMGT3
• 2024 sees the highly-anticipated arrival of Hypercar entries from Alpine, BMW, Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini.
• Total of 14 car makes represented across all categories (Alpine, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Isotta Fraschini, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota).
• All-new LMGT3 class replaces the former GTE Am category.
Welcome to the WEC, @SchumacherMick 👋
Mick joins @SignatechAlpine and will be at the wheel of one of their A424 Hypercars in 2024. Whether he will be in the #35 or #36 car is yet to be announced.#WEC pic.twitter.com/fVVqe7XngM
— FIA World Endurance Championship (@FIAWEC) November 27, 2023
• Ferrari increases its presence in the WEC’s top class by adding a third Ferrari 499P Hypercar (No. 83 AF Corse entry). Listed to drive this car is former F1 star, Robert Kubica
• Reigning World Champions Toyota Gazoo Racing will defend its Hypercar title with pair of Toyota GR010 Hybrids. Former F1 driver Nyck De Vries will replace Jose Maria Lopez in the No. 7 car (Lopez will move to GT3 to compete in the Akkodis ASP team entry with the Lexus RC F GT3).
• Porsche Penske Motorsport continues its WEC campaign with two Porsche 963 Hypercars. The only driver change being Matt Campbell who replaces Dane Cameron in the No. 5 Porsche 963.
• Alpine transfers its factory racing efforts from LMP2 to Hypercar for 2024 with the all-new A424. Its full lineup of drivers include ex GP driver Mick Schumacher and Ferdinand Habsburg who makes the switch to the WEC’s top category from LMP2
• Cadillac Racing returns with the Cadillac V-Series.R. The team have listed two drivers (Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn).
• Peugeot TotalEnergies submits two Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercars as French manufacturer embarks on third WEC season. Former Formula E World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne joins the squad as a full-time driver.
• Three other Porsche 963 Hypercars feature on the list including a two-car effort from Hertz Team JOTA, plus one Proton Competition entered Porsche.
• BMW M Team WRT joins the fray with two of its BMW M Hybrid V8 cars which competed in IMSA this season. Dries Vanthoor has been named to drive the No. 15 car, with Sheldon Van Der Linde named on the sister No. 20 entry.
• Lamborghini makes its entry in the WEC’s Hypercar class with the Lamborghini SC63 and Mirko Bortolotti as the only confirmed driver so far.
• Isotta Fraschini entered Isotta Tipo 6-C entries completes the 2024 Hypercar entry list, with Alejandro Garcia and Jean-Karl Vernay named as two of the drivers.
• All-new LMGT3 class to be made up of 18 entries in inaugural season.
• Nine global marques: Aston Martin (2); BMW (2); Corvette (2); Ferrari (2); Ford (2); Lexus (2); Lamborghini Huracan (2); McLaren (2) and Porsche (2)
• Team WRT (BMW M4 GT3) enter the LMGT3 fray with seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi named to drive the No. 46 entry. Brazil’s Augusto Farfus has been listed in the sister No. 31 car.
• McLaren joins with endurance experts United Autosports to make LMGT3 debut with a pair of McLaren 720S GT3 Evos.
• GT specialists Akkodis ASP Team enter the WEC with two Lexus RCF entries with Jose Maria Lopez and Kelvin Van Der Linde named to drive in each of the cars.
• Iron Lynx and Iron Dames return to championship, this time with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2.
• Highly-successful GTE Am team TF Sport aligns with 2023 champions Corvette Racing for 2024 to run a pair of Corvette Z06 GT3.R cars.
• Return of several familiar teams such as AF Corse which is renamed as Vista AF Corse for 2024 (Ferrari 296 GT3), Heart of Racing Team and D’Station Racing (Aston Martin Vantage GT3), Proton Competition (Ford Mustang GT3) and Manthey PureRXRacing/Manthey EMA (Porsche 911 GT3 Rs).