Published on February 16th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
WEC 2014, 31Confirmed Cars On The Start Line
The third year of the FIA World Endurance Championship has got off to a great start with the announcement of a full season grid of thirty-one cars, representing 10 different nations, today in Paris.
LMP1 will become the largest segment with no fewer than nine cars, six for the LMP1-H and three for the LMP1-L classes. In the Hybrid division there are two cars for reigning world champions Audi, with the next evolution of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, two for Toyota Racing with the new Toyota TS040 and two entries for Porsche as they prepare the new 919 for its first public appearance at the official test at Le Castellet at the end of March.
In the LMP1 Light category Rebellion Racing will enter two of its brand new Rebellion Toyota R-One, with Nicolas Prost and Matthias Beche announced as the lead drivers in each car, and Lotus has entered the brand new T129-AER with Christian Albers.
The LMP2 category has received seven full season entries. 2013 24 Heures du Mans LMP1 Privateer winners Strakka Racing return to the World Endurance Championship with a Nissan powered Dome S103 with Nick Leventis as its lead driver.
G-Drive Racing is one of three Russian entries in LMP2 and the multiple race winning team is switching to a Morgan-Nissan for 2014 with the driver line up headed by Roman Rusinov. The other two Russian entries are from SMP Racing, the team that made such an impact in ELMS by winning the GTC category at its first attempt last season. The team is entering two Oreca-Nissans with ELMS GTC Champion Kirill Ladygin and Sergey Zlobin as the lead drivers.
Millenium Racing is also running a pair of Oreca-Nissans with Fabien Giroix and Stefan Johansson, and the final full season LMP2 entry is by the Hong Kong-based KCMG team who will also run an Oreca-Nissan for Matthew Howson.
The LMGTE Pro class will also feature seven cars, with a new entry from ELMS LMGTE Champions RAM Racing, the British team stepping up to the World Championship with a single Ferrari 458 Italia for Matt Griffin in LMGTE Pro and a second F458 in the Am category.
Ferrari and AF Corse will defend their world manufacturer and team titles with a pair of Ferrari 458 Italias, with 2013 champion Gianmaria Bruni in the first car and Davide Rigon in the second. The Porsche works entry run by Team Manthey will feature Patrick Pilet and Marco Holzer in a pair of 911 RSR, while the two manufacturer-entered Aston Martin Vantage V8s, run by Aston Martin Racing, will see Darren Turner in the nr97 and Stefan Mücke in the nr99 car.
Eight entries have been received for the LMGTE Am category with four Ferraris, two Porsches and two Aston Martins. AF Corse will run a pair of Ferrari 458s for Luis Perez Companc, the LMP2 race winning Argentine switching to GTs, and for Australian Stephen Wyatt. 2013 LMGTE Team Champion 8Star Motorsports is back to defend its title with its F458, with team principal and lead driver Enzo Potolicchio looking to add the 2014 Drivers’ crown to his list of accomplishments. The fourth F458 will be for ELMS LMGTE Champion Johnny Mowlem and run by RAM Racing.
Proton Competition returns with Christian Ried as the lead driver for its Porsche 911 GT3 RSR while Belgian team, and long-time supporters of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and ELMS, Prospeed Competition, joins the FIA WEC with a 911 for Francois Perrodo.
The two Aston Martin entries by Aston Martin Racing will see two Vantage V8 cars for Denmark’s Kristian Poulsen and Canada’s Paul Dalla Lana.