Home / Phil Allaway / FIA WEC Unveils 2018-19 Full Season/Le Mans Entries, Moves Fuji Race
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FIA WEC Unveils 2018-19 Full Season/Le Mans Entries, Moves Fuji Race

On Friday afternoon (European time), the FIA World Endurance Championship officially launched the 2018-19 season with an announcement in Paris.  The full-season entry list was revealed, containing 36 teams.  However, the biggest news was the shift of the 6 Hours of Fuji up by one week to Oct. 14.

The Fuji move has been met with significant anger since many drivers that compete in the series also compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  The Fuji move creates a direct clash with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.  Olivier Pla, who races for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WEC and Tequila Patron ESM, was not pleased with the move.

Ryan Dalziel, Pla’s teammate at Tequila Patron ESM, agreed with Pla’s tweet, claiming that the WEC has become a joke.

On the other hand, Fernando Alonso was overjoyed.

Alonso appears to be the primary reason why this move was made.  On the original schedule that was released last year, Fuji was a direct clash with the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.  Also, Fuji Speedway is owned by Toyota directly and is the centerpiece of their racing exploits in Japan.  The move allows Alonso to race full-time in 2018.  2019 will be up in the air until the 2019 Formula 1 schedule is released.

Pla is not the only driver whose plans for mid-October have now been thrown into limbo.  Up to a dozen drivers on the full season entry list were planning to be at Road Atlanta to compete in the Motul Petit Le Mans.  Rolex 24 at Daytona pole sitter Renger van der Zande and Mazda Team Joest’s Harry Tincknell, IMSA full-timers, are in that group.

2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship Full Season Entry List

ClassTeamDriversCar
LMP11 - REBELLION RacingNeel Jani
André Lotterer
Bruno Senna
REBELLION R13-Gibson
LMP13 - REBELLION RacingMathias Beche
Thomas Laurent
Gustavo Menezes
REBELLION R13-Gibson
LMP14 - ByKolles Racing TeamOliver WebbENSO CLM P1/01-NISMO
LMP15 - CEFC TRSM RacingCharles RobertsonGinetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome
LMP16 - CEFE TRSM RacingOliver RowlandGinetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome
LMP17 - Toyota GAZOO RacingMike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
José María López
Toyota TS050-Hybrid
LMP18 - Toyota GAZOO RacingFernando Alonso
Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS050-Hybrid
LMP110 - DragonSpeedPietro Fittipaldi
Ben Hanley
Henrik Hedman
Renger van der Zande
BR Engineering BR1-Gibson
LMP111 - SMP RacingMikhail Aleshin
Vitaly Petrov
BR Engineering BR1-AER
LMP117 - SMP RacingStéphane Sarrazin
Matevos Isaakyan
Egor Orudzhev
BR Engineering BR1-AER
LMP228 - TDS RacingLoïc Duval
François Perrodo
Matthieu Vaxiviere
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP229 - Racing Team NederlandNyck de Vries
Jan Lammers
Giedo van der Garde
Frits van Eerd
Dallara P217-Gibson
LMP231 - DragonSpeedNathanaël Berthon
Anthony Davidson (post-Le Mans)
Roberto González
Pastor Maldonado
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP236 - Signatech Alpine MatmutAndré Negrão
Nicolas Lapierre
Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470-Gibson
LMP237 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTAJazeman Jaafar
Weiron Tan
Afiq Ikhwan Yazid
Nabil Jeffri
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP238 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTAGabriel Aubry
Ho-Pin Tung
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP250 - Larbre CompetitionErwin Creed
Fernando Rees
Romano Ricci
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
GTE-Pro51 - AF CorseJames Calado
Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO
GTE-Am54 - Spirit of RaceFrancesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Thomas Flöhr
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Am56 - Team Project 1Jörg Bergmeister
Patrick Lindsey
Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am61 - Clearwater RacingMatt Griffin
Weng Sun Mok
Keita Sawa
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Pro66 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WECBilly Johnson
Stefan Mücke
Olivier Pla
Ford GT
GTE-Pro67 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WECTony Kanaan
Andy Priaulx
Harry Tincknell
Ford GT
GTE-Am70 - MR RacingOlivier Beretta
Eddie Cheever III
Ishikawa Motoaki
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Pro71 - AF CorseSam Bird
Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO
GTE-Am77 - Dempsey-Proton RacingMatt Campbell
Christian Ried
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro81 - BMW Team MTEKNicky Catsburg
Philipp Eng
Martin Tomczyk
BMW M8 GTE
GTE-Pro82 - BMW Team MTEKAugusto Farfus
Antonio Felix da Costa
Alexander Sims
BMW M8 GTE
GTE-Am86 - Gulf Racing UKBen Barker
Alex Davison
Michael Wainwright
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am88 - Dempsey-Proton RacingKhaled Al-Qubaisi
Matteo Cairoli
Giorgio Roda
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am90 - TF SportCharles Eastwood
Euan Hankey
Salih Yoluç
Aston Martin Vantage
GTE-Pro91 - Porsche GT TeamGianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Frédéric Makowiecki (Le Mans)
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro92 - Porsche GT TeamMichael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Laurens Vanthoor (Le Mans)
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro95 - Aston Martin RacingMarco Sørensen
Nicki Thiim
Darren Turner
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
GTE-Pro97 - Aston Martin RacingJonny Adam
Alex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
GTE-Am98 - Aston Martin RacingPaul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage

On the entry list, there are 10 LMP1 cars declared for the full season, up from five in 2017 (only the four factory cars competed beyond the Nürburgring).  Toyota is the only manufacturer in the class after Porsche pulled out.  As previously announced, Alonso will drive the No. 8, replacing Anthony Davidson.

Toyota will be joined by the returning ByKolles Racing Team and newcomers.  REBELLION Racing returns to the LMP1 class after a year away to field two ORECA-built REBELLION R13s.  CEFC TRSM Racing (formerly CEFE Manor TRS Racing) moves up from LMP2 with two new Ginettas, while SMP Racing returns with two AER-powered BR Engineering chassis.  DragonSpeed also moves up from the European Le Mans Series with a BR1 of their own with Gibson power.

LMP2 has full-time variety in 2018, a welcome change after running as a spec class for the vast majority of 2017 after Tockwith Motorsports’ withdrawal.  DragonSpeed is running one of their ORECA 07-Gibsons in LMP2 in addition to the new LMP1 entry.  Racing Team Nederland also switches from the ELMS to put their Dallara on the grid.  Finally, Larbre Competition moves up to LMP2 after competing in GTE-Am as Corvette Racing’s primary customer in recent years.

GTE-Pro grows with the addition of the new two-car BMW Team MTEK.  As BMW Team RLL showed in Daytona, it could be an uphill battle for the new BMW M8 GTEs.  Aston Martin also debuts the new Aston Martin Vantage AMR as well.

GTE-Am grows from six teams to nine this season.  Team Project 1, entered as a German squad, will run in cooperation with Park Place Motorsports.  Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey, who have driven full-time for Park Place in the past, will be full-time in Team Project 1’s No. 56 Porsche.  In addition, TF Sport’s Aston Martin is now full-time after competing at Le Mans last year.  Finally, the Japan-based MR Racing has joined the grid with former F1 racer Olivier Beretta and Eddie Cheever III as part of the lineup.

24 Hours of Le Mans

For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the field will be expanded from 36 to 60 with the addition of teams from the ELMS and those who have earned spots in the race otherwise.  Not everyone that earned automatic spots in the field will take their places, though.

The LMP1 class is unchanged.  The same 10 cars that will contest the full 2018-19 season will compete at Le Mans.

LMP2 expands substantially.  Only seven cars will compete full-time in the WEC.  For Le Mans, that number will still be reduced from last year’s 25, but it will still constitute a healthy 20 entries.

For GTE-Pro, there will be 17 cars in the class.  Both Ford and Porsche will field four cars each with their combined IMSA and WEC efforts.  In addition, Corvette Racing will be back with their two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs as well.  AF Corse will enter a third Ferrari with Toni Vilander driving as well.

The GTE-Am class expands to 13 cars with notable additions.  Riley Motorsports (racing as Keating Motorsports) earned their way into the race as a result of Ben Keating winning IMSA’s Bob Akin Award for the best GT amateur.  He’ll drive a Ferrari 488 GTE.

EBIMOTORS has a Porsche entered in the race with Fabio Babini driving.  Their spot was clinched by winning the Michelin Le Mans Cup’s GT3 championship last year with a Lamborghini.  The same car raced in last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.  In addition, Proton Competition has entered a third Porsche with Patrick Long driving.

There is one notable absence from the entry list.  That is JDC-Miller MotorSports.  The Minnesota-based team earned an automatic entry into the race by virtue of Misha Goikhberg winning the Jim Trueman Award for best amateur in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Prototype class.

The team tried their darndest to put together a proper entry, but just couldn’t pull it off.

“After spending the past several months working towards participating in the event, the team regretfully informed IMSA, the ACO and their partners that some unexpected challenges came up late in the planning process,” the team stated in a press release.  “The team was unable to finalize arrangements that would have allowed them to be as competitive as they required for running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.”

In addition to the 60 cars with spots in the field, there are nine more reserve entries.  Reserve entries can move up into the field if one of the teams ends up withdrawing from the race prior to scrutineering.  One entry has already been drawn from the reserve pool as a result of JDC-Miller MotorSports being unable to attend.

The reserve entry teams come from a variety of backgrounds and would compete in either the LMP2 or GTE-Am classes.  Most of them compete in the ELMS, but there are some exceptions.  California-based Scuderia Corsa is No. 5 on the list with their Ferrari 488 GTE.  IMSA regular Cooper MacNeil is listed as the team’s designated driver.  In addition, BAR1 Motorsports’ Riley Mk. 30 is the ninth reserve entry with team owner Brian Alder as the driver.

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

ClassTeamDriver(s)Car
LMP11 - REBELLION RacingNeel Jani
André Lotterer
Bruno Senna
REBELLION R13-Gibson
LMP13 - REBELLION RacingMathias Beche
Thomas Laurent
Gustavo Menezes
REBELLION R13-Gibson
LMP14 - ByKolles Racing TeamOliver WebbENSO CLM P1/01-NISMO
LMP15 - CEFC TSRM RacingCharles RobertsonGinetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome
LMP16 - CEFC TSRM RacingOliver RowlandGinetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome
LMP17 - Toyota GAZOO RacingMike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050-Hybrid
LMP18 - Toyota GAZOO RacingFernando Alonso
Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS050-Hybrid
LMP110 - DragonSpeedBen Hanley
Henrik Hedman
Renger van der Zande
BR Engineering BR1-Gibson
LMP111 - SMP RacingMikhail Aleshin
Vitaly Petrov
BR Engineering BR1-AER
LMP117 - SMP RacingStéphane Sarrazin
Matevos Isaakyan
Egor Orudzhev
BR Engineering BR1-AER
LMP222 - United AutosportsFilipe Albuquerque
Paul Di Resta
Phil Hanson
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
LMP223 - Panis Barthez CompetitionTimothé BuretLigier JS P217-Gibson
LMP225 - Algarve Pro RacingAte De Jong
Mark Patterson
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
LMP226 - G-Drive RacingRoman Rusinov
Jean-Eric Vergne
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP228 - TDS RacingLoïc Duval
François Perrodo
Matthieu Vaxivière
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP229 - Racing Team NederlandJan Lammers
Giedo van der Garde
Frits van Eerd
Dallara P217-Gibson
LMP231 - DragonSpeedRoberto GonzalezORECA 07-Gibson
LMP232 - United AutosportsJuan Pablo Montoya
Hugo de Sadeleer
William Owen
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
LMP233 - Jackie Chan DC RacingDavid ChengLigier JS P217-Gibson
LMP234 - Jackie Chan DC RacingJacques NicoletLigier JS P217-Gibson
LMP235 - SMP RacingVictor ShaitarDallara P217-Gibson
LMP236 - Signatech Alpine MatmutAndré Negrão
Nicolas Lapierre
Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470-Gibson
LMP237 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTAJazeman JaafarORECA 07-Gibson
LMP238 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTAHo-Pin TungORECA 07-Gibson
LMP239 - GRAFF Racing/SO24Vincent CapillaireORECA 07-Gibson
LMP240 - G-Drive RacingJames Allen
Enzo Guibbert
José Gutierrez
ORECA 07-Gibson
LMP244 - Eurasia MotorsportMarko AsmerLigier JS P217-Gibson
LMP247 - Cetilar Villorba CorseAndrea Belicchi
Roberto Lacorte
Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217-Gibson
LMP248 - IDEC SportPaul-Loup Chatin
Paul Lafargue
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
LMP250 - Larbre CompetitionErwin Creed
Fernando Rees
Romano Ricci
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
GTE-Pro51 - AF CorseJames Calado
Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO
GTE-Pro52 - AF CorseToni VilanderFerrari 488 GTE EVO
GTE-Am54 - Spirit of RaceFrancesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Thomas Flohr
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Am56 - Team Project 1Jörg Bergmeister
Patrick Lindsey
Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am61 - Clearwater RacingMatt Griffin
Weng Sun Mok
Keita Sawa
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Pro63 - Corvette RacingAntonio Garcia
Jan Magnussen
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
GTE-Pro64 - Corvette RacingOliver Gavin
Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
GTE-Pro66 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WECBilly Johnson
Stefan Mücke
Olivier Pla
Ford GT
GTE-Pro67 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WECTony Kanaan
Andy Priaulx
Harry Tincknell
Ford GT
GTE-Pro68 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSASébastien Bourdais
Joey Hand
Dirk Müller
Ford GT
GTE-Pro69 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSARyan Briscoe
Scott Dixon
Richard Westbrook
Ford GT
GTE-Am70 - MR RacingOlivier Beretta
Eddie Cheever III
Ishikawa Motoaki
Ferrari 488 GTE
GTE-Pro71 - AF CorseSam Bird
Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO
GTE-Am77 - Dempsey-Proton RacingMatteo CairoliPorsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am80 - EBIMOTORSFabio Babini
Christina Nielsen
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro81 - BMW Team MTEKNicky Catsburg
Philipp Eng
Martin Tomczyk
BMW M8 GTE
GTE-Pro82 - BMW Team MTEKAugusto Farfus
Antonio Felix da Costa
Alexander Sims
BMW M8 GTE
GTE-Am84 - JMW MotorsportLiam GriffinFerrari 488 GTE
GTE-Am85 - Keating MotorsportsBen KeatingFerrari 488 GTE
GTE-Am86 - Gulf Racing UKMichael WainwrightPorsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am88 - Dempsey-Proton RacingMatt CampbellPorsche 911 RSR
GTE-Am90 - TF SportCharles Eastwood
Euan Hankey
Salih Yoluc
Aston Martin Vantage
GTE-Pro91 - Porsche GT TeamGianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro92 - Porsche GT TeamMichael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro93 - Porsche GT TeamEarl Bamber
Patrick Pilet
Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro94 - Porsche GT TeamTimo Bernhard
Romain Dumas
Sven Müller
Porsche 911 RSR
GTE-Pro95 - Aston Martin RacingMarco Sørensen
Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
GTE-Pro97 - Aston Martin RacingAlex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
GTE-Am98 - Aston Martin RacingPaul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage
GTE-Am99 - Proton CompetitionPatrick LongPorsche 911 RSR
Reserve Entry LMP241 - APM Monaco Team KCMGLouis PretteDallara P217-Gibson
Reserve Entry GTE-Am55 - Spirit of RaceDuncan CameronFerrari 488 GTE
Reserve Entry LMP249 - High Class RacingDennis Andersen
Anders Fjordbach
Dallara P217-Gibson
Reserve Entry LMP224 - Repsol Racing EngineeringNorman NatoORECA 07-Gibson
Reserve Entry GTE-Am62 - Scuderia CorsaCooper MacNeilFerrari 488 GTE
Reserve Entry GTE-Am83 - Krohn RacingAndrea Bertolini
Nic Jonsson
Tracy Krohn
Ferrari 488 GTE
Reserve Entry LMP227 - IDEC SportPatrice LafargueLigier JS P217-Gibson
Reserve Entry LMP243 - ARC BratislavaMiroslav KonopkaLigier JS P217-Gibson
Reserve Entry LMP242 - BAR1 MotorsportsBrian AlderRiley Mk. 30-Gibson

 

About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the Manager of the site's FREE e-mail Newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing Editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the Press Officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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