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Taking place for the first time at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy on Saturday 01 April and Sunday 02 April, this will be the first opportunity for the fans to see the WEC’s 2017 teams on track all together.

Twenty seven of the full season entries will be present at Italy’s premier circuit, taking part in five sessions of testing over two days, including a night session on Saturday evening.

Apart from a small fee for parking their car, fans will receive free entry to the track for both days of The Prologue, including access to the Paddock.  It will be the first opportunity for Italian fans to see their beloved Ferraris and also the super-sophisticated LMP1 prototypes, the upgraded LMP2 challengers and much more.  They can even get up close and meet the drivers at an autograph session on Sunday 02 April.

In the limelight will be four of the 1000 bhp, hybrid-powered LMP1 race cars from Porsche and Toyota, with both manufacturers launching their 2017 challengers just ahead of The Prologue.  Toyota, like Porsche, has carried out private testing in preparation for the season and the Japanese manufacturer will be keen to see how its revised TS050 HYBRID stacks up against the 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid.  The Prologue also sees 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber donning their Porsche race suits for a full season of racing for the first time and three times Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer will be swapping his red Audi colours for Porsche white.

Nine of the upgraded LMP2 entries will grace the high-speed Monza track, with just CEFC Manor TRS Racing fielding one car instead of two.  The new ORECA 07 is the chassis of choice for Vaillante Rebellion, CEFC Manor TRS Racing, G-Drive Racing and TDS Racing and Jackie Chan DC Racing, with Signatech Alpine Matmut fielding two Alpine A470s. All LMP2 cars will be on Dunlop rubber and powered by Gibson engines.

In LMGTE Pro all eight entries will be present, including the newly launched 2017 Porsche 911 RSR, Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage, the Ford GT and of course Ferrari’s 488 GTE which will be run as always by Piacenza-based AF Corse.  The competition in this category is expected to be closer than ever, with the four marques being represented by top driver line ups all challenging for the newly-sanctioned FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE Drivers and Manufacturers.

Joining the factory-led teams will be another five GTE entries from the equally competitive LMGTE Am class which includes Ferraris from the Swiss Spirit of Race team and full-season WEC debutant Clearwater Racing from Singapore and two Porsche 911 RSRs from Gulf Racing and Dempsey-Proton Racing.  The fifth car will be the Aston Martin Vantage of the only unchanged driver line up in the class compared to 2016.

The Prologue – FREE ENTRY FOR THE PUBLIC

The Prologue will take place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 01/02 April 2017, and entry to the track and access to the grandstands is free to members of the public following payment of 10€ per car for parking (motorcycles 5€, free entrance to pedestrians or those on bicycles). In addition, the paddock will be open to fans on both days.

Fans who attend will have the opportunity to see the cars on track during five open test sessions, plus they will be invited to take part in Sunday’s autograph session with all the drivers present. 

More details on The Prologue, including ticket information, can be found on Autodromo Nazionale Monza’s website HERE

Provisional Timetable

Saturday 01 April

09:00 – 12:00    Session 1

14:00 - 17:00     Session 2

19:00 – 21:00    Session 3 (night testing)

Sunday 02 April

09:00 – 12:00    Session 4

13:15 – 13:45    Driver Autograph Session

14:00 – 17:00    Session 5

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The full-season entry list for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship was today revealed during an online press conference broadcast from the home of endurance racing, Le Mans.

The 2017 grid will be made up of 28 cars from 11 different nations, offering proof that the WEC continues to attract teams from across the globe wishing to compete at the highest level in endurance racing. A well balanced, stable calendar is one of the keys to this magnetic appeal for manufacturers and teams, as are regulations which promote strong technological competition and innovation, at the same time as controlling any escalation of expenditure.

Toyota takes the fight to Porsche in battle of hybrid technology

Two-time World Champion in the top LMP1 category, Porsche, never sits back on its laurels – no matter how successful it is, and the German manufacturer will be more than prepared for the battle ahead with Toyota in 2017. The highly-sophisticated prototypes which feature complex, state-of-the-art hybrid systems will see drivers of the highest calibre in both teams, and the level of competition will be intense and unrelenting. The widely differing technology and operating systems developed and used by Porsche and Toyota for their motorsport programmes form part of the crossover of technology to the manufacturers’ production vehicles, reinforcing the relevance of the WEC within today’s world of motorsport.

LMP1 Privateer ByKolles looking for competitive 2017 season

Joining the factory competitors will be the Austrian ByKolles Racing Team which shows great fidelity to the WEC. After a challenging 2016, the team has worked hard over the winter on chassis developments and mechanical reliability, and has forged a new partnership with NISMO to power the ENSO CLM P1/01-Nismo.

ORECA 07s go head-to-head in LMP2 in hands of teams old and new

The LMP2 grid will, for the third year in succession, consist of 10 entries but in contrast to previous seasons there is one chassis of choice from the teams entered: the ORECA 07. For 2017 the regulations offer a significant increase in performance to entice competitors, and there are names across the category both familiar and new to the WEC. Joining 2016 LMP2 champions Signatech Alpine Matmutwill will be multiple-WEC-championship-winning Rebellion Racing, the Swiss team this year re-named Vaillante Rebellion. Manor returns to consolidate its claim on victory in the WEC, planning to use all it learned in its debut year and operating two cars under the name of CEFC Manor TRS Racing. Also returning and strengthening China’s presence in the WEC is Jackie Chan DC Racing team which increases its commitment to the WEC with a two-car team. A new team is welcomed to LMP2 from the ELMS ranks – TDS Racing from France, and it will be collaborating on an operational level with Russia’s G-Drive Racing.

Porsche GT returns in strength to contest GT World Championship with Aston Martin, Ferrari and Ford

Boosted by the creation of the FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE Drivers and Manufacturers, the competition in the LMGTE Pro class will be hotter and tighter than ever. Porsche’s new generation 911 RSR is a mid-engined design, a big evolution in the history of the marque’s top GT model, and there is much anticipation about the yet-to-be announced drivers who will be joining Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen. Returning to challenge for championship victory will be two Ferrari 488 GTEs from AF Corse, looking to repeat the Italian manufacturer’s success of recent years, two of the radical Ford GTs from Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK which were introduced in 2016 and which achieved several triumphs in their debut year, and two Aston Martin Vantages from the British manufacturer for the model’s final year before a new one is introduced in 2018. All are experienced WEC race winners.

Singapore-based team makes WEC debut in multi-marque LMGTE Am class

The LMGTE Am class features three different marques among the five entries, and includes Clearwater Racing from Singapore which has moved to the WEC from the Asian Le Mans Series and which will run a Ferrari 488 GTE. Alongside Aston Martin Racing, Gulf Racing and Dempsey-Proton Racing (both racing Porsche 911 RSR 991s), one further new name will be seen on the entry lists. The AF Corse-supported Spirit of Race team will also compete with a Ferrari 488 GTE.

The WEC calendar features nine rounds across five continents, with the third round being the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the jewel in the crown of international endurance racing. The season opens with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 16 April, moves on to Spa-Francorchamps (6 May), Le Mans (17-18 June) and the Nürburgring (16 July) in Europe before heading overseas to Mexico (3 September), Circuit of The Americas, Austin (16 September), Fuji (15 October), Shanghai (5 November) and Bahrain (18 November) for the second half of the season.

Key Facts and Figures on 2017 FIA WEC Grid

28 entries representing 11 nations: Germany (5), Austria (1), Japan (2), Switzerland (3), Russia (1), USA (2), China (4), France (3), Great Britain (4), Italy (2), Singapore (1)
5 entries in LMP1, 10 in LMP2, 8 in LMGTE Pro and 5 in LMGTE Am
5 manufacturer entries with Porsche represented in both LMP1 and GTE Pro
Close co-operation between Promoter, regulators and manufacturers to maintain consistency and stability, with working groups focussed on safety, new energy technologies and cost controls
Three-time World Touring Car champion José Maria Lopez joins Toyota
2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber move from Porsche GTE competition to LMP1
New ORECA 07 is the chassis of choice in LMP2, all 10 entries being on Dunlop rubber
All LMP2 cars will be powered by the new Gibson GK428 4.2 litre, V8 engine
Championship-winning Rebellion Racing ready for new challenges in LMP2with two entries and a famous French racing name!
France’s TDS Racing moves up from European Le Mans Series and collaborates with G-Drive Racing; TDS line-up includes 2016 LMGTE Am champion drivers Perrodo and Collard
2016 LMP2 Champions Signatech Alpine looking to retain title via two Alpine A470 entries
Commitment from Jackie Chan DC Racing sees two Chinese entries in LMP2, joined by CEFC Manor TRS Racing
New Porsche GT 911 RSR lining up with Aston Martin Vantages, Ferrari 488 GTEs and Ford GTs for World Championship title
Both Michelin and Dunlop tyres being used in LMGTE Pro offering open tyre competition
Dempsey-Proton Racing, Gulf Racing and Aston Martin Racing show loyalty to LMGTE Am, joined by Swiss Spirit of Race and Singapore-based Clearwater Racing
Quotes on 2017 WEC grid:

Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile: “The 2017 season will be the sixth of the successful partnership between the FIA and the ACO which has seen the FIA World Endurance Championship grow to the prominent position it holds today in world motor sport. The strong grid announced today will strengthen this position further and will undoubtedly be the focus of some intense battles and drama over the coming nine races.

“In LMP1 Porsche will defend their world and 24 Hours of Le Mans titles, while Toyota is looking to build on the successes of 2016. In addition, four manufacturers will be competing for the new FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE and LMP2 is revitalised with the new technical regulations coming into effect this season.

“I would like to thank Pierre Fillon, Lindsay Owen-Jones and Gérard Neveu for their continued hard work. The great cooperation of the teams at the FIA and the ACO is what makes the FIA World Endurance Championship the success it is today. I am looking forward to what is sure to be another exciting season.”

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Endurance is in very good health and the 2017 season looks full of promise. Today, we discovered the three great entry lists for the ELMS, the FIA WEC and of course the Le Mans 24 Hours. The on-track spectacle will be absolutely fantastic with duels among top-class drivers and all-out rivalry between the competitors. All the ingredients that make up the DNA of endurance have been combined for 2017. The field for the Le Mans 24 Hours is particularly rich with 16 nationalities from the four corners of the world and a host of teams, most of which race in our continental series in Europe, the United States and Asia thanks to the Asian Le Mans Series, which has really taken off! It is all proof of the success of the endurance pyramid so dear to the ACO. The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours promise us a great spectacle on the track as well as a week’s festivities to be enjoyed to the full!”

Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, President of the FIA Endurance Commission: “As the FIA World Endurance Championship begins another exciting season the announcement of another large grid is testament to the job the regulations are doing in attracting the best teams and drivers to compete in a championship that encourages the advancement of new technologies, promotes safety in all areas and controls costs. There is a new world championship for GTE with Porsche competing with the new 911 to take on Aston Martin, Ferrari and Ford and BMW has announced its participation in 2018. This season we will see the implementation of the new LMP2 technical regulations, with four chassis manufacturers and one single engine suppler that will increase performance and intensify competition between the teams.”

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship: “We approach our sixth WEC season in a very good position, with a solid base of manufacturer and stakeholder support, world-class partners and teams, and the best sportscar drivers in the world. The stability of our calendar offers relevance to the manufacturers in terms of their key markets outside Europe, such as North and Central America, China, Japan and the Middle East. It also allows us to continue growing our fan base around the world, as witnessed already by the number of fans who have already purchased tickets in advance of the season. Motorsport enthusiasts know there will be entertainment for the whole family, great access to the cars and drivers and that, no matter where in the world they are, they will witness non-stop drama and competition on track.”

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Following their dominant victory during last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Am class, Scuderia Corsa will return to the notorious Circuit de la Sarthe in 2017, defending their title in the GTE-Am Class with two entries this time, driven by an all-star lineup in the all-new Ferrari 488 GTE.

Doubling their efforts from a historical 2016 campaign in which their Le Mans win would highlight a season that also saw victories at The 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of Watkins Glen, as well as three separate championships, the team's high threshold for quality remains unchallenged with their two-car lineup.

In a partnership with WeatherTech Racing, the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE will see Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell return to defend their 2016 victory with the addition the venerable Cooper MacNeil. Meanwhile, the team's No. 65 Ferrari 488 GTE proves an instant contender, featuring the full-season, championship-winning pairing of Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, joined by sportscar veteran Bret Curtis.

For team owner Giacomo Mattioli, the invitation to return to the world's most renowned event is a welcome one.

"The opportunity to bring two Ferraris in defense of our Le Mans victory is a great honor," stated Mattioli. "To debut in 2015 with a podium, and win last year was an absolute dream-come-true. To return now with the Ferrari 488 GTE is a brand new challenge that we are all excited for. It's of course great to see Bill and Townsend back with us for another year, and now with Cooper MacNeil joining us, we should be very strong. It goes without saying we had an incredible 2016 together with Christina and Alessandro, and Bret Curtis is a long-time member of the community that we're very excited to work with. We're definitely confident for another Ferrari victory!"

For Bill Sweedler, a chance to return to the same team that brought him such an incredible victory just one year before is one that couldn't be ignored.

"I'm so excited to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and defend our race win along with Scuderia Corsa and Ferrari," stated Sweedler. "Le Mans is such a unique and special place that has the most passionate residents.  The city literally shuts down for a week to welcome racers, teams, and fans from around the world into their city.  I'm truly honored to be able to participate again after two successful years.  My hope is that Townsend, and our newest teammate, Cooper MacNeil, can take our collective experience and deliver another strong finish for Scudera Corsa and Ferrari in 2017!"

For Christina Nielsen, returning to Le Mans with the same team she scored a historic IMSA championship with creates her best chance to win.

"It will be great to return to Le Mans with Scuderia Corsa," stated Nielsen. "This event is unlike any other, and one that any driver wants to win. Luckily this is the best organization I could be with, and our last year together has been incredible. The professionalism, quality of work, and talent on all levels is unmatched, and now that I've already experienced the event, I want to go to win."

Having raced with Scuderia Corsa prior in the Ferrari Challenge series, WeatherTech Racing's Cooper MacNeil is looking to add a Le Mans victory to his current trophy case.

"I think we are headed to Le Mans with a very strong package," MacNeil said. "Bill and Townsend won there last year in a Ferrari. We will be running a brand new 488 GTE and the Scuderia Corsa team knows the car and knows us as well. I run with them in the Ferrari Challenge Series, so between us three drivers and the team we already have a great racing relationship. This will help us to get right down to getting the car set-up and ready to go for race day."

Finally, for Bret Curtis, hopes are high that his third visit to the famed event could be his best yet.

"I am very excited to join Giacomo Mattioli's Scuderia Corsa in the most famous sports car race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans," stated Curtis. "In 2016 Scuderia Corsa jumped to the top of the sports-car world with a GTD title in IMSA, and a GTE win at Le Mans so I am very excited to be racing with the best, and in a Ferrari.  Additionally, having the opportunity to be driving with last year's winning GTD duo of Christina and Alessandro is a great opportunity to shine at a great race.  I look forward to being a part of a winning effort and having strong result!"

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on Saturday, June 17 and run for 24 hours straight through the following Sunday. Scuderia Corsa will provide additional updates, including available broadcast coverage, as the event gets closer.

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2017 is the year the new LMP2 regulations come into effect with teams now being able to choose to run a car from four chassis manufacturers, all powered by a single engine supplier which offers a significant increase in performance while at the same time reducing the running costs.

The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) is an independently run closed-cockpit car, the new FIA Technical Regulations aim to ensure long-term success for the category with a reduction in costs and the guarantee of stability in the regulations.

The four constructors who will supply chassis for the cars that will compete in the Le Mans Prototypes 2 category are: Dallara, Onroak Automotive, Oreca and the joint-venture Riley Tech/Multimatic.

In the FIA World Endurance Championship, plus the European and Asian continental series run by the ACO, all LMP2 cars will be equipped with Gibson Technology engines, while Cosworth Electronics will be the single electronics supplier.

The 4-litre V8 engine, which was unveiled at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, delivers around 600bhp, an increase of approximately 100bhp on engines run in 2016. In addition to the power increase, teams will be able to take advantage of all the services linked to running an engine without significant extra charges – such as technical service and presence at the track.

The weight and dimensions of the 2017 LMP2 cars have changed from the previous iteration, with the maximum measurements of the new cars being longer, narrower, slightly taller and 30kg heavier.

  2016 2017
Overall length 4650mm (max)(rear wing included) 4750 mm (max)
Front Overhang 1000mm 1000mm
Rear Overhang 750mm 750mm
Overall Width 2000 mm (max) 1900 mm (max) / 1800mm (min)
Height 1030 mm  above the reference surface 1050 mm above the reference surface
Minimum Weight 900kg 930kg

The new 2017 LMP2 cars will first race in Europe at the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on Sunday 16 April 2017 at Silverstone in the UK. The public will be able to see the new cars on track during The Prologue, the official pre season test for the FIA WEC (1/2 April) at Monza in Italy.

 

         

 

 

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