2023 WEC

The P2 Oreca is going to go down in history as one of the most successful sportscars in history. It can be argued that they didn't have any competition, but then again, they ran off all competition by being so dominant. No one even tries to run anything else.
I swear, I thought it was a spec class. The Oreca is all I ever saw.
I swear, I thought it was a spec class. The Oreca is all I ever saw.
When the current-spec P2s debuted in 2017 most teams chose to run either the ORECA 07 or the Ligier JS P217 to a lesser extent, mostly since both already had existing relationships with many teams from the previous generation. The 07 also utilized the 05’s tub as the base, which made it easy for teams to upgrade to the new gen, and also provided a known quantity for ORECA to design and develop around.

The Ligier was actually pretty good at downforce tracks but really poor at straight-line speed tracks like Daytona and Le Mans, which was ultimately its downfall - can’t afford to be well off the pace at the biggest events. The gearbox was also pretty unreliable. I think it won once in IMSA at Laguna Seca (overall, when P2s competed against DPi for one season in 2018) and five or six times in ELMS.

The Dallara never had much take up but was pretty quick in a straight line, although it had some porpoising issues too. It won once in the ELMS, at Paul Ricard with the super long Mistral Straight.

The Riley was a disaster, not sure it ever did more than half a dozen races in total in P2 form. This one was also obscenely draggy.

Across IMSA, WEC, ELMS, and AsLMS I think ORECA has 100% exclusivity of P2 entries this year. Although, Sean Creech will move up from IMSA P3 to P2 with a Ligier next year since they already have an existing relationship with the P3 machine there.
JOTA are rumored to field an “all-star” lineup in their second entry that’ll debut next season: Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Robert Kubica (w/ ORLEN backing)

Sheeeesh 🤩

It would be great to see Vettel back. More F1 level talent comes to sportscars.

Perhaps this means we could see Vettel at the Rolex?
My guess is Aston will probably have to do some work to get that 4/1 aero package, and probably raise the wing, but this car looks like a great place to start. Maybe Vettel is waiting to see how this works out before he makes a move.
They’re back! Coming 2025.

Competing in both IMSA and WEC, and keeping the originally-planned NA V12 😃 It’ll be fantastic to have an LMH finally enter the IMSA side. A very unique addition to the fields in every aspect.

United will run the McLaren LMGT3 program next season, subject to acceptance on the entry list.

Not too much of a surprise with the Zak Brown connection. A new manufacturer to the series and United find a way to stay on the grid with LMP2 going away.

Yeah, it had sounded more likely before the FIA approved the F1 entry. Still gotta wait on the Liberty/FOM decision but they’re further down the road with that than before. And that would easily become GM’s most expensive racing program. It’s difficult to go to the board and ask for even more money for WEC on top of that.

I’d at least like to see them bring the WEC car as a third entry at Daytona again.
Still a terrible name, but I like seeing this applied to the rest of the schedule, especially with one fewer class but two large ones. The current format doesn’t really resonate with me.
Seems like they want to be like F1 and spend two days qualifying. I guess sprints will be next.
In other ACO racing, the ELMS two-part season finale is this weekend at Portimao. Had forgotten about this being a doubleheader after the Imola flooding.

It’s pretty much just a Q1 and Q2 for each class, which is fine really. Should be done within an hour or so.
We probably won't get to see it in the states anyway.

Seems a little silly to put so much emphasis on qualifying for an endurance race, but at least WEC keeps making improvements and bringing a better show every time out.
From Mercedes to Lexus!

More than a well deserved test for these two:

Lexus will be a lock since there’s the Toyota connection, seems like Mercedes, Honda, and Audi will be left on the outside looking in when it comes to the selection committee. ASP are a great team and despite the RC F being long in the tooth, they should be able to make it competitive like Vasser Sullivan have.

I hope Jack Hawk and Barnicoat getting a test means we’re a small step closer to a GR010 in IMSA in 2025.
The post-Le Mans BoP is seeing a platform adjustment in favor of the LMDh machines ahead of next weekend’s season finale at Bahrain.

Ferrari have stated that they’re willing to run a third 499P for a customer bringing the requisite funding package, should one come knocking. Most likely in 2025 but still possible for as early as 2024.

There have been rumors that the Richard Mille-backed effort currently running in GTE-Am could move up, and Lilou Wadoux and Robert Shwartzman are slated to test the car at the Bahrain rookie test on Sunday. Would be a pretty interesting entry if it comes to fruition.

First session in Bahrin hit with on/off rain, so it's hard to tell much. Looks like Toyota still has the edge.

Ferrari turned it around in P3, but they were lost in P1 and P2: https://www.autosport.com/wec/news/...hing-its-head-over-bahrain-wec-pace/10541879/

After P3 the top five are covered by a second, though that will probably change when Toyota puts the hammer down in qualifying. TheCadillac currently looks really good, nearly half a second clear of the field. I'm sure the order will shake up a bit when everyone gets serious, but it's not a bad sign Caddy and Porsche are now so competitive.

The big surprise is the Proton 963 is faster than the Penskes. It's all practice anyway, so now we breathlessly await the Hyperpole.

Here's the P3 results:
Toyota took pole, Cadillac were the only one within a second of the quickest Toyota. Not gonna be close tomorrow.
This is almost like two years ago. They would make a BOP adjustment and the Toyotas just got faster.
This is another track where Toyota has extensive experience and no one else has pretty much any. It’s not like a European track or Sebring where everyone tests (and Toyota were still pretty damn dominant at those). The two-year head start is paying dividends; problem is, I don’t know if they can be caught. There are still five new manufacturers joining the next two years and those teams are all going to be inexperienced compared to everyone else too.

Ferrari and Cadillac feel positive about their tire degradation but I wouldn’t hold out hope for making it competitive for the win.
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