WEC - 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season Resumes in Florida | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC - 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season Resumes in Florida

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01.03.19

After a long break of nearly four months, the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship resumes on Friday 15 March with the 1000 Miles of Sebring, Round 6 of the eight race championship that will conclude at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16.

We take a quick look back at the championship standings after the races in Belgium, France, UK, Japan and China.

The Super Season, so called because of the two 24 Hours of Le Mans that are included in this one season, got underway at Spa-Francorchamps in May 2018.

FIA LMP World Endurance Drivers Championship

Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi took the first victory, leading home a Toyota 1-2 in Belgium, a feat that was repeated a month later at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.  The Toyota trio made it three from three at Silverstone but a technical issue with the Toyota found in post race scrutineering saw both cars entered by the Japanese manufacturer disqualified, promoting the no3 Rebellion Racing R13 of Gustavo Menezes, Mathias Beche and Thomas Laurent into first place, the first overall FIA WEC victory for a private team.

Toyota returned to winning ways in Japan with the no7 TS050 of Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi taking the top spot at Fuji Speedway and they repeated the feat a month later in Shanghai.

With five races run the LMP World Endurance Drivers Championship is led by Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi on 102 points, just 5 points ahead of Lopez, Conway and Kobayashi.  Menezes, Beche and Laurent are on 73 points, the best of the private team entrants.

FIA World Endurance GTE Championship

The five manufacturers competing for the World Endurance GTE crown have provided some of the best on track action seen anywhere around the globe.  The competition got even tighter with Chevrolet entering a single Corvette in Shanghai, with the Americans rejoining the grid in Sebring, to bring the manufacturer count up to six.

Ford got their season off to a good start with Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke and Billy Johnson taking the top step at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of Porsche duo Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.  Estre and Christensen, along with Laurens Vanthoor, then took the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans first place trophy, with Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki making it a Porsche 1-2 at Le Mans.

After a lack lustre start for the new Ferrari F488 Evo, reigning world champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi got back in their stride at Silverstone, finishing ahead of Ford’s British duo Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

Japan saw Estre and Christensen take their second victory to extend their championship lead. The Franco-Danish pairing followed this up with another podium in China behind the Aston Martin Vantage of 2016 champions Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, the first win for the British manufacturers new car.

Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen will start the week in Sebring with 111 points, 43 ahead of Ford’s Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke and Porsche teammates Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz, with all four drivers on 68 points.

Jackie Chan DC Racing Leading the Way in LMP2

2017 LMP2 Champions Jackie Chan DC Racing head to Sebring with a ten point lead ahead of Signatech Alpine Matmut.  Gabriel Aubrey, Ho-Pin Tung and Stéphane Richelmi have taken an impressive three wins and two second place finishes in the no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca.  Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Pierre Thiriet have also five podium finishes from five starts in the no36 Signatech Alpine Matmut A470-Gibson, with one win at Le Mans in June, to stay in touch with their rivals and head to Sebring on 102 points.

Porsche Lead the Way in LMGTE Am

The battle for the LMGTE Am title has seen drama and excitement with new team Project 1 heading to the USA with a 20-point lead after five races.  Edigio Perfetti, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsay have four podium finishes so far, including victory in Japan last October, which gives the team 84 points compared to 64 points for reigning champions Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy in the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage.

The no77 and no88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsches were stripped of all their championship points up to and including the race in Japan after the data loggers the team were using was transferring false information.  The team returned to winning ways in China with the no77 Porsche 911 taking the class win, with the no88 car finishing 3rd behind the Team Project 1 Porsche.

CLICK HERE for the championship standings after Round 5 of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship

The 1000 Miles of Sebring

The 1000 Miles of Sebring marks a return by the FIA World Endurance Championship to the circuit where the first race was run in March 2012.  In 2013 the US round of the FIA WEC moved to the Circuit of The Americas in Texas, but Sebring has returned to the calendar with the first race that is longer than the normal 6 hour format.  The 1000 miles of Sebring will get underway at 16:00 on Friday 15 March, with the chequered flag expected to be shown at midnight, 8 hours later.