WEC: Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps preview

The opening round of the six race 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship will take place in Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday 1 May.

Location:
Spa-Francorchamps is located in the Ardennes region of East Belgium, 140km from Brussels and close to the border with Germany
Circuit of Spa Francorchamps, S.A.
Route du Circuit, 55 
B-4970 Francorchamps 
Tél :      +32 87 29.37.00
Fax :     +32 87 27.05.81
web:     www.spa-francorchamps.be
Airport:
Brussels, 146km 

THE PROLOGUE 2021
The official two-day test at the start of the season will take place at Spa-Francorchamps on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 April, with four track sessions totalling 11 hours and 50 minutes of track time for all the competitors.  The Prologue will be the first time the new Hypercars will be seen on track in an official event, and it will also provide the first opportunity to see the new 2021 liveries.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021?

FIRST SEASON OF HYPERCAR
The 2021 season will see the introduction of the new Hypercar class.  The incoming ruleset represents a major shift in philosophy compared with the LMP1 class it is replacing. It allows for far greater variety in terms of technical approaches, at the same time preventing cost escalation. The Hypercars will battle it out for the overall honours in the FIA WEC and at Le Mans, however, this season, under the grandfathering rule, non-Hybrid LMP1 cars are also allowed in the Hypercar category.

SINGLE AERO KIT
In order to mirror the Hypercar category and harmonise performance level between the two classes of cars, the Le Mans aero kit has been made mandatory across the whole season in the LMP2 category.

NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT
There are two distinct 10‐minute sessions, one for Hypercar/LMP2 and the other for LMGTEs

One driver, one car, instead of the previous format where two drivers set an average lap time.
LMP2: The mandatory timed laps must be completed by a Silver or Bronze driver.
LMGTE Am: The mandatory timed laps must be completed by a Bronze driver.

Richard Mille, FIA Endurance Commission President, said:

“Since it was introduced in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship has been continuously evolving. Yet, the changes we’re set to witness this year are something unseen to date.

“It’s definitely an exciting, but also immensely challenging time, and the fact that this transition coincided with the outbreak of a global health crisis only adds to the challenge.

“Fortunately, as the President of the FIA Endurance Commission, I have the privilege of working with an excellent group of professionals from the ACO, the promoter of the FIA WEC and of course the FIA itself. “It is the knowledge, expertise and determination of the individuals involved that gives me confidence that endurance racing is in good hands and future looks bright for this form of motor sport.

“I’m pleased, looking at this season’s entry list. The FIA WEC managed to attract a strong and diverse grid, which is something particularly impressive in the wake of the current health and economic climate. There will surely be numerous fascinating storylines over the course of the season. We’ll witness a milestone in the history of endurance racing with the debut of the world’s first Le Mans Hypercar.

There are also several strong lineups entered in LMP2 and LMGTE machinery and we can expect fierce competition in these categories. It’s also great to see the two all-female crews, who competed at Le Mans last year, stepping up to the FIA WEC full time.

“With the LMH concept, we took a lot of risks and a lot of effort and perseverance went into defining the regulations so that they capture the spirit of what we wanted LMH to be, and that is to allow for various philosophies in terms of technical approaches and aesthetics of the cars. Today we can be satisfied with the achieved results, with more and more renowned brands committing to this new ruleset.  LMH should please both manufactures and fans, resulting in spectacular cars and high level of competition. The more cost-effective regulatory approach is also something much needed in the current economic climate.

“I’m very much looking forward to this season and beyond. We’re fortunate to witness history being made and we’re on the verge of an immensely interesting era of endurance racing. I’d like to wish all the best to everyone involved in the FIA WEC this season.”

ROLL OF HONOUR – 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

  2017 2018 2019 2020
LMP1

Buemi / Davidson / Nakajima

no8 Toyota Racing

Toyota TS 050 – Hybrid (M)

173 laps

Buemi / Alonso / Nakajima

no8 Toyota Racing

Toyota TS 050 – Hybrid (M)

163 laps

Buemi / Alonso / Nakajima

no8 Toyota Racing

Toyota TS 050 – Hybrid (M)

133 laps

Conway / Kobayashi / Lopez

No7 Toyota Racing

Toyota TS 050 – Hybrid (M)

143 laps

LMP2

Rusinov / Pla / Canal

no26 G-Drive Racing 

Oreca 07 – Gibson (D)

160 laps

Rusinov / Pizzitola / Vergne

no26 G-Drive Racing 

Oreca 07 – Gibson (D)

156 laps

Gonzalez / Maldonado / Davidson 

No21 Dragonspeed Oreca 07-Gibson  (M)

129 laps

Hanson / Albuquerque / Di Resta

No22 United Autosports Oreca 07-Gibson (M)

140 laps

LMGTE Pro

Rigon / Bird

No71 AF Corse

Ferrari F488 GTE (M)

151 laps

Mucke / Pla / Johnson

No66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT (M)

148 laps

Martin / Lynn 

No97 Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Vantage (M)

124 laps

Christensen / Estre

No92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19 (M)

135 laps

LMGTE Am

Dalla Lana / Lamy / Lauda

no98 Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Vantage V8 (D)

146laps

Dalla Lana / Lamy / Lauda

no98 Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Vantage V8 (D)

144 laps

Ried / Pera / Campbell

No77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (M)

122 laps

Perrodo / Collard / Nielsen

No83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO (M)

134 laps

TIMETABLE

Monday, 26 April – THE PROLOGUE      

10:00 – 12:00                Test Session #1

14:00 – 17:55                Test Session #2

Tuesday, 27 April – THE PROLOGUE      

09:05 – 12:00                Test Session #3

14:00 – 17:00                Test Session #4

Thursday, 29 April        

08:00 – 13:00                Scrutineering

15:30 – 17:00                Free Practice #1

Friday, 30 April

09:30 – 11:00                Free Practice #2

14:00 – 15:00                Free Practice #3 

18:20 – 18:30                qualifying – LMGTE Pro/LMGTE Am

18:40 – 18:50                qualifying – HYPERCAR/LMP2

18:50                             qualifying press conference

Saturday, 1 May

13:30 – 19:30                Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

19:45                             post-race press conference 

FIA OFFICIALS

FIA Chairman of the Stewards Mr. Jean-François VEROUX 
FIA International Steward Mr. Paolo LONGONI
FIA Race Director Mr. Eduardo FREITAS
FIA Technical Delegate Mr. Manuel LEAL
FIA Sport Coordinator Mr. Jacques TROPENAT
Chief Timekeeper Mr. Cristóbal LOPERA
FIA Driver Adviser Mr. Yannick DALMAS
FIA Media Delegate Mr. Jeff CARTER

Source : Fia