The future of the WEC

Doc Austin

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Worth pointing out is that Alpine has won twice and leads the championship. Maybe they have the BOP about right. The Alpine and Toyota were only a few seconds apart over a race distance, so props to the ACO for getting it almost perfect, and the same to both teams.

The Glick was on pole, and fast enough to win until it blew up. Sadly they might be done for the year.

The Peugeot was the slowest hypercar at 1.8 seconds back in qualifying. Initially the lead Peugeot was gamely hanging on, but they both had trouble and finished well back. Peugeot's lack of reliability is a bit surprising. They will get it right, but I think we were all expecting them to be a factor and they really weren't. Oh, but they did look cool.

The WEC is coming together slowly. We have a legitimate title fight on our hands, and next year is going to be even better.
 

FLRacingFan

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Prospects of a Hypercar grid nearing 20 cars in 2024 are increasing. Far from a sure thing but looking pretty good so far.

The series is looking to add another European race to the calendar, and have an extra race before Le Mans. Hopefully this means Porsche are bringing back the Nurburgring like they did in 2014, and then move Monza to April. It’d be nice if by 2024 we could get the calendar back to 8 races.


 

FLRacingFan

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WRT will end their lengthy partnership with Audi and run the BMW WEC program beginning in 2024.

Interested to see what happens with all of their GT drivers, most of them are Audi factory guys but Valentino Rossi is said to be contracted to WRT. Not sure you even want to be an Audi driver anymore considering they canned the prototype entirely and their GT future is uncertain beyond 2024.

 

FLRacingFan

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Lots of smoke this week about LMP2 dropping from the series full-time in 2024, becoming a Le Mans-only class while remaining the headlining class in the ELMS and AsLMS (TBD in IMSA).

The gist of it is that with an expansive Hypercar grid there won’t be enough paddock/pit box space at many tracks, which is also roughly the series’ freight capacity. When GTE-Am adopts GT3 machinery in 2024 they would also be limited to 12-16 entries, possibly even with a limit of 2 cars per OEM.

LMP2 would still have a presence at Le Mans with a 10-15 car class. There’s also a note about the Le Mans grid expanding to 70 cars over the coming years, but this is the first I’ve heard of that. They’ve slowly expanded from 56 to 62 entries recently and I think are pretty maxed on capacity unless they do some serious construction and knock stuff down. As it is now garages 61 and 62 are temporary facilities separate from the permanent structures.


 

Doc Austin

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I will be less than pleased if WEC drops P2. The only reason their series was even remotely watchable the last four years was because of the P2 cars.
 

FLRacingFan

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I will be less than pleased if WEC drops P2. The only reason their series was even remotely watchable the last four years was because of the P2 cars.
They’ve been a good grid filler for when Toyota have mostly been running around by themselves each race, and relatively fast, racy prototypes - quicker than the early diesel-powered LMP1s from the mid-2000s. But this is a good problem to have for the series now, and I don’t think they’ll be missed when there’s a full pro Hypercar grid approaching ~20 cars. If anything it’ll probably make ELMS and AsLMS more interesting with more Le Mans bids at stake.

I do hope they manage to stay in IMSA, but I’m sure that’ll also depend on grid capacity after GTP/GTD Pro/GTD. At least here air freight isn’t an issue.
 

FLRacingFan

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One mild other rumor I heard this week is that when Alpine rejoin with their new car in 2024 it’ll be one Signatech-run car instead of two, with the other car being run by personnel from the F1 team made redundant by the budget cap.
 

Doc Austin

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They’ve been a good grid filler for when Toyota have mostly been running around by themselves each race, and relatively fast, racy prototypes - quicker than the early diesel-powered LMP1s from the mid-2000s. But this is a good problem to have for the series now, and I don’t think they’ll be missed when there’s a full pro Hypercar grid approaching ~20 cars.
I'de be fine with running the hypercars and LMDh with the P2 cars and give the GT cars their own championship. You can never have enough prototypes.
 

FLRacingFan

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I'de be fine with running the hypercars and LMDh with the P2 cars and give the GT cars their own championship. You can never have enough prototypes.
You’d still have problems with freight and paddock capacity, plus availability of on-track time. Plus the GT cars still bring OEM spend and fan interest, unlike P2. We could see more OEMs without a Hypercar program join, such as AMG and Ford. Ultimately I think it’ll be great and pro Hypercars/pro-am GTs should be easier for new fans to follow.
 

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The regular LM trophy is iconic enough that I’d rather just win that. Swing and a miss, imo.

 

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Rast joins BMW. Andreas Roos, former director of Audi Sport moved to BMW and has scooped up Rast in the process.

This is a big move for BMW:
 

FLRacingFan

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Rast joins BMW. Andreas Roos, former director of Audi Sport moved to BMW and has scooped up Rast in the process.

This is a big move for BMW:

This guy belongs back in a prototype. He’s going to be a problem for sure.
 

FLRacingFan

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No doubt, I think this bad boy has run its course.

Maybe a year to year thread, if you or I or anyone else will remember.

Fantastic to see WEC thriving again along with SRO and IMSA.
Yeah, I was thinking we could put one up for next season. It’ll be great to finally see the rebirth of the series it’s been building towards. Gonna be a really popular championship next year.
 

Doc Austin

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I thought this was a really good thread. I'de hate to see you guys abandon it just when things are getting good.
 

FLRacingFan

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I thought this was a really good thread. I'de hate to see you guys abandon it just when things are getting good.
Eh, probably best to make a new one for next season when it rolls around, leave behind all the pages of deathbedding. There should be a lot more to talk about regarding the actual racing next year.
 

Doc Austin

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Hopefully they will have the Peugeots dialed in and reliable. I don't believe Glick is going, are they?
 

FLRacingFan

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I think Glickenhaus is done for the season.
I think they might have a shot at Bahrain, I think Jim is friends with the Crown Prince of Bahrain and said something about it making better financial sense than Fuji.
 

Doc Austin

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I think they might have a shot at Bahrain, I think Jim is friends with the Crown Prince of Bahrain and said something about it making better financial sense than Fuji.
I was hoping they would do the full season (and next) with at least one car full time. The sad part is the Glick had a legit shot at winning Monza, and now they go home?






FadMRrGWYAUbbmC
 

FLRacingFan

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I was hoping they would do the full season (and next) with at least one car full time. The sad part is the Glick had a legit shot at winning Monza, and now they go home?






FadMRrGWYAUbbmC
All depends on their funding for next year I guess, the schedule should also be one race bigger but it should be in Europe at least. It’s always possible they could sell a customer car as well - I think it’s $2.5M or $2.6M.

Where it gets interesting is that, for a few years now the ACO has been more lax on granting entries to teams that can’t make it the whole year, but will they be as generous with someone like Glickenhaus now that there’s more demand for grid spots? Presumably Hypercar entries will have general preference over LMP2 and GTE-Am entries but they’d probably like some assurance they can run the full season.
 

Doc Austin

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All depends on their funding for next year I guess, the schedule should also be one race bigger but it should be in Europe at least. It’s always possible they could sell a customer car as well - I think it’s $2.5M or $2.6M.
Selling a couple of cars would help, but these cars supposedly run on a $30 million budget. How long can a privateer sustain that kind of expense without a sponsor?

That and Glick can't run in IMSA because he doesn't sell enough cars in the US. They kind of painted themselves into a corner here.
Where it gets interesting is that, for a few years now the ACO has been more lax on granting entries to teams that can’t make it the whole year, but will they be as generous with someone like Glickenhaus now that there’s more demand for grid spots?
I suppose for continuity's sake requiring the teams to make all the races makes sense. The part that doesn't would be to turn away good entries.
 

Doc Austin

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OK, it's just practice, but Peugeot has taken the 1.8 second gap (from Monza) to the Toyota and shaved it down to roughly 3/10. Once again, we just might have a great race brewing.

The bad news is that Alpine is about 1.3 seconds back. With two races to go the championship leading team can't afford a bad race, but maybe they will be better on race pace. From track to track, it seems impossible to get the BOP right every weekend. Last race Alpine beat Toyota in a straight up fight and now they are 1.3 seconds out to lunch? I get it that this is probably a tough job made worse by all the politics involved, but the job isn't going to get any easier when they have to balance the incoming (and very different) LMDH class. It was ok to mercilessly screw the privateers over the last four or five years, because the FIA doesn't care about them, but the manufacturers will not stand for it at all. Next year the talk will be the new cars, but the story is going to be how fairly/unfairly they are balanced

Still, we have the Toyota and the Peugeot seemingly close enough that it will be a good race. Alpine still has a few sessions to go and maybe they can find some speed. It would be great to have all five cars in the fight. If not, we will still have a 13-car field of P2 cars, and the GT racing has been insane. Fuji is also a pretty interesting circuit so we could have a righteous show.

 

FLRacingFan

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OK, it's just practice, but Peugeot has taken the 1.8 second gap (from Monza) to the Toyota and shaved it down to roughly 3/10. Once again, we just might have a great race brewing.

The bad news is that Alpine is about 1.3 seconds back. With two races to go the championship leading team can't afford a bad race, but maybe they will be better on race pace. From track to track, it seems impossible to get the BOP right every weekend. Last race Alpine beat Toyota in a straight up fight and now they are 1.3 seconds out to lunch? I get it that this is probably a tough job made worse by all the politics involved, but the job isn't going to get any easier when they have to balance the incoming (and very different) LMDH class. It was ok to mercilessly screw the privateers over the last four or five years, because the FIA doesn't care about them, but the manufacturers will not stand for it at all. Next year the talk will be the new cars, but the story is going to be how fairly/unfairly they are balanced

Still, we have the Toyota and the Peugeot seemingly close enough that it will be a good race. Alpine still has a few sessions to go and maybe they can find some speed. It would be great to have all five cars in the fight. If not, we will still have a 13-car field of P2 cars, and the GT racing has been insane. Fuji is also a pretty interesting circuit so we could have a righteous show.

Pretty clear now that they don’t want Alpine to win Le Mans nor the championship. Kobayashi was actually asked about this in an interview over the summer and alluded to it as well. They don’t want an old grandfathered LMP1 stealing the glory from the new class.
 

FLRacingFan

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Portimao is the expected additional race next season.

Sebring
Portimao
Spa
Le Mans
Monza
Fuji
Bahrain
 

Doc Austin

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Pretty clear now that they don’t want Alpine to win Le Mans nor the championship. Kobayashi was actually asked about this in an interview over the summer and alluded to it as well. They don’t want an old grandfathered LMP1 stealing the glory from the new class.
Once again, I refer you to Gallic pride. The Freech are always right, have the best ideas, and nothing is ever their fault.
 

FLRacingFan

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Once again, I refer you to Gallic pride. The Freech are always right, have the best ideas, and nothing is ever their fault.
I’ll be glad once this weird transition phase is over next season and we don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore. I’m not sure I blame them but it’s not very sporting.

Reminds me of the first three years of IMSA post-merger 2014-2016 when they were trying to balance old Grand-Am DPs with ALMS P2s and it was an absolute mess.
 

Doc Austin

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I’ll be glad once this weird transition phase is over next season and we don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore. I’m not sure I blame them but it’s not very sporting.
Except it will never be over. As far back as 1967 (and maybe even earlier), the French have repeatedly blown up the sport.

As far as sporting, nothing is more important than the glory of France.

Reminds me of the first three years of IMSA post-merger 2014-2016 when they were trying to balance old Grand-Am DPs with ALMS P2s and it was an absolute mess.
And IMSA still did a better job than the other guys.
 

Doc Austin

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Toyota now 1,2 after FP2. Now the margin is about 1.2 seconds. Still just practice, so let's see how quali shakes out.

 

FLRacingFan

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Except it will never be over. As far back as 1967 (and maybe even earlier), the French have repeatedly blown up the sport.

As far as sporting, nothing is more important than the glory of France.


And IMSA still did a better job than the other guys.
It was pretty heavily in favor of the legacy Grand-Am teams at the time, P2s only won five races over that period. They were pretty vastly different cars to handle.

Mercifully, those days are long gone.
 

Doc Austin

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It was pretty heavily in favor of the legacy Grand-Am teams at the time, P2s only won five races over that period. They were pretty vastly different cars to handle.

Mercifully, those days are long gone.
I really enjoyed the Daytona Prototypes. I hated to see them go, but the DPI era has been as good, except the cars are much more attractive now. What we have coming up next year and 2024 is going to be epic on a level we have not seen since the Ford GT era.

Mostly I'm glad things are stable (for now anyway) and we've got fast, cool cars that race well. We just need more cars, but they are coming.
 
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