The WEC Hypercars go head-to-head in the Sebring prologue

It doesn’t go anymore. the renewed World Endurance (WEC) starts up in Sebring with its prologue, the first collective tests with the participating cars after the private winter tests. The potholes of the old military aerodrome will test the 11 Hypercar who will compete for the crown of Toyota, dominators of recent years marked by the little competition they have had. But that has changed in 2023 with the arrival of Peugeot (after doing half a championship in 2022) Ferrari, vanwall, Cadillac and Porsche. It keeps glickenhausabsent in the last appointments of last year due to logistical problems, and disappears Alpinewho is taking a year off in LMP2 before returning to the top flight in 2024.

There will be four training sessions (Saturday, 2:45-4:45 p.m. and 7:30-10:30 p.m. and Sunday 3:00-6:30 p.m. and 8:30-11:30 p.m.) in which Toyota will put your theoretical favoritism to the test. For this the Japanese have prepared two units of their GR010 HYBRID with 2023 specification, an evolution of the Hypercar that has won 10 of its 12 races since its debut in 2021. At the wheel, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López team up for the fifth consecutive season, behind the wheel of the #7. In the #8, Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa will attempt to repeat their world title and Le Mans victories from 2022.

Peugeot go with two 9X8 and with the experience acquired during the three races held in 2022, and the more than 10,000 km covered during the winter tests on various tracks. “This circuit is very demanding, overcoming Sebring without setbacks is a necessary condition to approach the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although we know that it will not be enough because nothing can replace a true 24 hour race”, says Olivier Jansonnie, technical director of Peugeot Sport. The crews of the two Peugeot 9X8 also remain unchanged with Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne at #93 and Loïc Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Nico Müller at #94.

Ferrari, for its part, returns to the highest category of resistance 50 years later and is one of the factories that attracts the most attention. Their mere presence in any championship forces them. TO gainas he recognized Miguel Molina in a recent interview with AS. Two 499P They have completed a demanding winter test plan from the shakedown on July 6, 2022 until completing 24,000 kilometers before March on circuits such as Fiorano, Imola, Mugello, Vallelunga, Paul Ricard, Aragón and Portimão. “We will go out on the track whenever we have the opportunity, to continue our work on developing reliability and improving our competitiveness”, assures Giuliano Salvi, ferrari gt & Sports Race Cars Race & Testing Manager. Miguel Molina will be with Nicklas Nielsen and Antonio Fuoco in the #50 car and James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi will drive the #51.

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come back too Porschewith his 963 Associated with Penske. “The new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of such mythical models as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and 919 Hybrid. I am confident that we will be up to the task when it comes to technology and having created a team structure that will lead us to victory”, comments Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. The two drives will be for Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki, aboard #5, and Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoo at the wheel of #6. From the Spa appointment there will be one more German car on the grid, that of the JOTA team.

The list of enrollees for the full program is completed by hypercar of Cadillac (number #2, bib tribute to ‘Le Monstre’, the first Cadillac to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950, for Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook), vanwall vandervell 680 number #4 for Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri and Jacques Villeneuve, and the glickenhaus #708, which last year finished fourth in the 24 Le Mans just behind its twin, the #709, which made the podium. Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe and Olivier Pla will be his pilots.

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