The 2024 FIA WEC season: it’s far from over!


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SEANGP.com
- As the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship reaches the season’s mid-way point, the world’s premier sportscar series is looking stronger and more competitive than ever.

Both Spa-Francorchamps and the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans attracted record crowds, as well as an impressive crowd for the inaugural 6 Hours of Imola which took part in April and attracted 73,600 fans.

Indeed, this year’s race at Spa resulted in a new FIA WEC attendance record (excluding Le Mans) with 88,180 spectators, which was up from 72,000 in 2023. Only Le Mans surpassed Spa with last week’s figure of 329,000 fans over the course of the race week (up from 325,000 in 2023).

From a sporting point of view, the WEC is no less impressive with a total of 14 manufacturers battling it out across the Hypercar and LMGT3 categories. One cannot discount the fan appeal of star-studded names such as multiple MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi and ex Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button who have also helped draw in the crowds and new eyeballs to the WEC this season.

In the headline Hypercar category, there have been four different winners in 2024 so far showing the true competitive nature of the championship. At round one in Qatar, it was Porsche Penske Motorsport and the increasingly-competitive Porsche 963 that was victorious. This was followed by Toyota Gazoo Racing and its 2023 championship-winning Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar which triumphed at round two in Imola.

Hertz Team JOTA and its privately run Porsche 963 was next to take the glory as the British squad clinched the chequered flag at an action-packed Spa-Francorchamps in May. Most recently, it was the turn of Ferrari AF Corse as the Ferrari 499P Hypercar once again proved the car to beat at round four of the year, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Now, the 2024 title chase is closer than ever with just 12 points separating the top three manufacturers – Porsche, Ferrari and Toyota – in the overall Hypercar manufacturer standings. With a total of 108 points, Porsche top the overall leaderboard but they face stiff competition from Ferrari who are just behind on 99 points and Toyota who are third with 96 points. It must not be forgotten that more than 100 championship points are still available at the remaining WEC rounds in Brazil, USA, Japan and Bahrain so the 2024 title fight is well and truly on…

As for the new-for-2024 LMGT3 class, it’s even closer with the top three teams separated by a mere three points!

Manthey PureRXcing and Manthey EMA are both tied at the top of the standings with 75 points apiece and round two winners, Team WRT, have a total of 73 points. With manufacturers Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren and Porsche – the future of GT3 racing in the WEC has never looked more promising! 

In less than one month’s time, the WEC will return to South America for the first time in over a decade for the Rolex 6 Hours of Sao Paulo in Brazil (13-14 July). Will there be a fifth different team to win in Hypercar and who will take the coveted LMGT3 victory? We don’t have long to find out! (arl/wto/fiawec)

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