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As the 2024 WEC season nears, let us look at the F1 names that will make an appearance in WEC this season.

The FIA World Endurance Championship, often called WEC, is an auto racing competition that brings together different classes of cars for endurance races. In WEC, you’ll see special race cars racing in categories like Hypercar (LMH or LMDh) and LMP2, while production-based grand tourers compete in LM GTE Pro and Am categories.

These cars endure long-distance races, like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, testing their speed and durability. Drivers and manufacturers accumulate points throughout the season, aiming to become world champions. Additionally, there are other cups and trophies awarded to drivers and private teams for their achievements. It’s an exciting series that combines speed, endurance, and teamwork in thrilling races around the world.

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This season, the World Endurance Championship won’t have the LMP2 class, as it was removed due to high demand for the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes. There will be a maximum of 37 cars on the full-season grid, with LMP2 still participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In the LMGT3 category, manufacturers can only enter a maximum of two cars to promote diversity. Priority is given to manufacturers in the Hypercar category.

This year, the FIA World Endurance Championship will have a record 19 Hypercars and 18 LMGT3 entries, with 14 manufacturers represented across both classes, the most in its history. Each team must name at least one driver per entered car.

The Drivers and Manufacturers

For F1 fans, there will be some familiar faces and team names on the grid. This year’s WEC grid will feature 9 former F1 drivers and 4 manufacturers that appear in F1 too.

Manufacturers competing this year include Alpine, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Isotta Fraschini, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Peugeot, Porsche, and Toyota, showcasing the series’ continued growth.

It is a star-studded lineup of drivers this season. 7-time Moto GP World Champion and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button are among the named drivers. The Iron Dames – last year’s WEC LMGTE Am runners-up – return, with Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and F1 Academy driver Dorian Pin. It will be Doriane Pin’s first WEC appearance.

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Former Haas driver and current Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher and former Alpha Tauri driver and Formula E Champion Nyck de Vries will return to racing action since leaving F1. Former Williams drivers Robert Kubica and Paul Di Resta will be making a return to the WEC grid this year. The following will also be making a return to the WEC grid; former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, former Sauber driver and 24 hours of Le Mans 2023 winner Antonio Giovinazzi, former Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley and former Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat.

2024 WEC calendar

Another prospect of WEC that will be familiar to F1 fans, is the circuits and countries that the WEC cars will visit throughout the season.

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The first WEC event will be taking place this weekend with the Prologue happening on the 24th and 25th of February in Qatar, at the Losail International Circuit.

The WEC Prologue serves a similar purpose to Formula 1’s pre-season testing. It is an official testing event where teams have the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season, test new cars, fine-tune setups, and evaluate drivers. The Prologue usually takes place a few weeks before the start of the WEC season at one of the championship’s race circuits. During the Prologue, teams can gather valuable data and information to optimize their performance for the races ahead, much like how F1 teams use pre-season testing to prepare for the F1 season.

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March 2nd – Round 1: Qatar 1821KM at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar

April 21st – Round 2: 6 hours of Imola at the Imola Circuit in Italy

May 11th – Round 3: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium

June 15th & 16th – Round 4: 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France

July 14th – Round 5: 6 Hours of São Paulo at the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil

September 1st – Round 6: Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in the USA

September 15th – Round 7: 6 hours of Fuji at the Fuji Speedway in Japan

November 2nd – Round 8: 8 hours of Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain

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