03.05.13

New FIA WEC Qualifying format

A new format to provide more entertainment in 2013.

One of the key underlying principles of the FIA World Endurance Championship is the provision of entertainment: for its global fan base, which is rapidly growing day by day, and also for its multi-national grid of top class entrants who are all competing for World Championship titles.

In the past, teams have for strategic reasons often tended to delay their attempts to set the fastest lap times, and the result has been grandstands full of fans watching…nothing.
 
The regulations state that two nominated drivers – the nominations being entirely at the discretion of the team – from each car crew must set at least two timed laps during qualifying. The average of the four best lap times (the best two of each driver) will serve as the reference time for establishing the grid. 
 
The qualifying sessions to determine the grid at seven of the eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship - the 24 Hours of Le Mans will adhere to its traditional qualifying system – have been extended to 25 minutes for LMP1 and LMP2, and 25 minutes for LMGTE Pro and Am.  Due to the length of the track, the two sessions will each be for 30 minutes at Spa for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps WEC. 
 
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship, explains:  “It is really important that we have a full day of entertainment and that includes having cars on track for every session. This is the overriding reason for this new qualifying format.
“Like everything else in endurance racing qualifying is now a team effort between two drivers and their mechanics to get the best average time over four laps and, at the same time, provides great entertainment for the fans. 
“We will use the new format for the 2013 season and analyse it at the end of the year to see if we can make it better than ever.”