New era, same favorite

Friday begins the new era of world resistancewith the 1,000 Miles of Sebring (17:00, Eurosport), test with which the start of the WEC 2023the year of the hypercar. Before the race, three free practice sessions that start this Wednesday to make the last adjustments and the classification (Thursday, 11:30 p.m.) among the 11 participating prototypes.

The setting is a recent memory for all the drivers and teams, since the traditional prologue was held last weekend. Toyota monopolized the time table with its two units in the same tenth. Behind, the main alternative was Cadillac, who dominated the second session of the prologue and the record leaves him 0.2 behind the leader. With this data, and despite the fact that they start as clear favourites, the Japanese house does not trust them: “Things have gone well up to now here in Sebring. Testing went pretty well and the lap times look good, but obviously this was just a test; race week will be different. We have to see where we can improve. We have new competition this season,” he explains. Kamui Kobayashiteam manager and driver of car #7.

From behind, they struggle to get closer Porsche, Ferrari and Peugeot. The Germans, with the fourth best time at 0.7 of the head, in the words of Urs Kuratle, Factory Motorsport director, they did not find major problems, although they did find some minor ones. In general, they ended up satisfied with the tests: “We managed to cover a great distance and obtain important information for the race. We still have to work on the finer details of our car. I don’t think anyone was chasing the fastest times in the prologue.”

The Italians did have problems, which were caused by an accident in the unit #51 on the second day it aborted its test program with body and suspension damage. The other red car, the #fifty in which is Miguel Molinahe completed his work plan and his best time left him just over a second behind Toyota already three tenths of Porsche. Incidents in the French house also altered his route plan, since the 9X8 #93 spent more time than expected in the garage due to an accident. The other unit, the #94was in the days of Porsche and Ferrari.

In the queue, vanwall and Glickenhaus, who could not overcome in the prologue several LMP2 and it seems that they still have work ahead of them to be more competitive. Jacques Villeneuve admitted he was not happy with his performance on the Vandervell 680: “I didn’t manage to do a single lap to my liking. I admit that I am frustrated with the situation, ”he acknowledged to the journaldemontreal. glickenhausFor his part, he assures that they learned “a lot”, although “problems with the tyres” prevented them from improving further. “We’ll make adjustments to the car, our time will improve and we’ll be ready to race.”

In the class LMP2 the best time was for car #22 of the united sports, the best in three of the four sessions. Behind, #41 of the WRT in which Kubica is, three tenths behind, like the Prema #63, from Kvyat,, separated by a handful of thousandths. And finally, in LM GTEdomain of Porsche, with the cars of the Iron Dames and Project 1-AOwho shared the best times on both days.

WEC 2023 Calendar

  • March 11 and 12: Prologue (Sebring)
  • March 17: 1,000 Miles of Sebring.
  • April 16: 6 Hours of Portimao.
  • April 29: 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps.
  • June 10 and 11: 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • July 9: 6 Hours of Monza.
  • September 10: 6 Hours of Fuji.
  • November 4: 8 Hours of Bahrain.

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