Alpine, Glickenhaus and Toyota confirm Le Mans Hypercar entries for planned Sebring season opener
After the difficult year all international motorsport series have been through, the bones of a recovery is now finally beginning to take shape. While the 2021 calendar remains provisional depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, the WEC has now announced its racing line-up, headed by the long-awaited Le Mans Hypercar class entries from Toyota and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus.
A total of five cars will run in the new Hypercar class to start, two from Toyota Gazoo Racing in the form of its new GR010, two SCG entries, and a single Alpine team car on a Gibson chassis. This top level is expected to be expanded widely in 2022 and beyond, when the LMDh class then also amalgamates into this top tier of endurance racing, where, amongst others, Peugeot, Porsche and Audi will reveal their own entries.
The rest of WEC’s field remains split into familiar LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am classes, with LMP2 fielding 11 entries all running a Gibson chassis. GTE Pro has seen a cut back compared to previous years, with just two factory-supported teams in Porsche and Ferrari, each with two cars, while the GTE Am class has also seen a reduction in variety with 13 cars running, split between the Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and Aston Martin’s Vantage AMR.
Although Aston Martin Racing will field one of those GTE Am entries with factory support, this will represent the end of Aston Martin’s support of endurance racing, with its focus now on its Formula 1 team. This will also likely draw an end to Aston Martin’s involvement in the Le Mans Hypercar Class and its proposed Valkyrie AMR entry.
As mentioned above, the 2021 calendar remains provisional depending on the state of the pandemic, with the first round scheduled for 19 March at Sebring California still under review due to the rampant advance of the virus in the US and the new administration’s tougher line on pandemic regulations.
The following round is scheduled to take place on 1 May at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, which could find itself opening the 2021 season if Sebring fails to go ahead. The calendar then continues to Le Mans, Monza, Fuji, and finally Bahrain in late November.
If all goes well and the virus finally gets under control in European nations, hopefully this will be the year that not just racers but also spectators are able to return to racetracks to once again experience motorsport the way it was intended, rather than just watching it on TV.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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