WEC: 8 Hours of Portimão entry revealed | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC: 8 Hours of Portimão entry revealed

  • gb
17.05.21

Next month the FIA World Endurance Championship will visit the Algarve International Circuit for the 8 Hours of Portimão (11-13 June). It marks the first time that the FIA WEC races on Portuguese soil since the inception of the championship back in 2012.

The first version of the Portimão entry list reveals an entry from American outfit Glickenhaus Racing and its highly-anticipated Glickenhaus 007 LMH. Australian Ryan Briscoe is named to drive the No. 709 Hypercar alongside Frenchman Romain Dumas and Britain’s Richard Westbrook. All three drivers have tested the new Hypercar substantially over the past couple of months and Glickenhaus recently carried out a 30 hour test at Aragon in Spain.

Glickenhaus will go up against the all-new Toyota GR010 which made its debut at Spa-Francorchamps, as well as the Alpine A480 – Gibson car which has been entered in the headline Hypercar category by French squad, Alpine Elf Matmut.  Spa saw plenty of close racing between Toyota and Alpine, so the Glickenhaus addition will be a welcome addition at the Algarve-based circuit which is known for its technical turns and undulation.

Another addition for Portimão will be in the LMGTE Am category as Swiss-based team Kessel Racing enters a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with its trio of drivers: Takeshi Kimura (Japan), Mikkel Jensen (Denmark) and David Fumanelli (Italy). The No. 57 car will be joined by 13 further entries in the highly competitive GTE Am category including the return of the No. 46 and No. 56 Team Project 1 entries after both Porsche 911 RSR cars suffered heavy damage in Belgium and were unable to start the race.

LMGTE Pro sees the return of the Porsche v Ferrari battle, where Ferrari lost out to rivals Porsche at round one.  With only five points separating Porsche and Ferrari in the GTE Pro standings going into the Portuguese race, there is expected to be plenty of wheel-to-wheel action between the two legendary marques.

The Porsche GT Team has also added two new names to its ranks for the Portuguese race as Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki will join Gimmi Bruni and Richard Lietz in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR car.  Meanwhile, a familiar face – Michael Christensen – will rejoin the No. 92 car as he teams up with his team-mate from last year, Kevin Estre, and 2021 newcomer Neel Jani in the squad’s second car.

The LMP2 category has a total of 11 entries which will go head-to-head in Portugal including round one winners United Autosports USA who currently lead the highly-competitive class after a dominant win in Belgium.  They will once again face stiff competition from the likes of JOTA, the British team fielding the only home driver on the entry list with Antonio Felix Da Costa set to compete in the No. 38 Oreca.

Driver changes in LMP2 include Paul Di Resta stepping in for Filipe Albuquerque in the United Autosports USA squad, the Portuguese driver unable to compete at his home race due to a clash with IMSA. Furthermore, F2 regular and last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual winner Louis Deletraz will replace Renger van der Zande in the Inter Europol Competition Oreca. Finally, ARC Bratislava will welcome endurance specialist Oli Webb to their line-up for Portugal, the Briton tested the Ligier JSP217 at the Prologue but missed Spa due to another race commitment.