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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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For the third time since 2012 the Kingdom of Bahrain will host the FIA World Endurance Championship’s season finale.

Situated in the desert, the impressive Bahrain International Circuit provides the challenge of a sandy and sometimes slippery track surface as well as racing into the night as the sun sets over the Persian Gulf. The circuit and heat are demanding for the drivers, the facilities are second to none, and the welcome is as warm as the weather.

Bahrain is the perfect venue to conclude the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship and here are some facts and figures about the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the Bahrain International Circuit and the Kingdom of Bahrain.


  1. The longest race was held in 2013 with the Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi completing 199 laps / 1023.25km. This race distance was equalled in 2015 with Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb also completing 199 laps in the no18 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
  2. Audi won in 2012, Toyota in 2013 and 2014 and Porsche in 2015.
  3. ORECA have won three of the four LMP2 races:  Pecom Racing in 2012, G-Drive in 2013 and KCMG in 2014.  Ligier won in 2015 with G-Drive Racing.
  4. Ferrari won LMGTE Pro from 2012 to 2014 with Toni Vilander winning all three events.  The Finn won in 2012 with Giancarlo Fisichella and in 2013 and 2014 with Gianmaria Bruni.  Porsche won in 2015 with victory for Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki
  5. Porsche won the LMGTE Am class in 2012 while Aston Martin took the class win in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  6. Mike Conway is the only driver to win the 6 Hours of Bahrain in two different classes. In 2013 the Briton won LMP2 with G-Drive Racing alongside Roman Rusinov and John Martin.  In 2014 he won in LMP1 with Toyota alongside Stéphane Sarrazin and Alex Wurz.
  7. Drivers who have won in Bahrain more than once

                  Toni Vilander - 3; Stephane Sarrazin - 2; Roman Rusinov - 2; Gianmaria Bruni - 2;

                  Nicki Thiim - 2; Kristian Poulsen - 2;

  1. The current fastest race lap record is held by Neel Jani.  The LMP2 and LMGTE Pro lap records date back to 2013 and the LMGTE Am to 2014.



N. Jani

Porsche 919 - Hybrid



21 November 2015


N. Minassian

Oreca 03 - Nissan



30 November 2013


K. Kobayashi

Ferrari F458 Italia



30 November 2013


N. Thiim

Aston Martin Vantage V8



15 November 2014


  1. The Bahrain International Circuit was built in 16 months and cost $150 million.
  2. The Bahrain International Circuit is 5.412km / 3.362 miles in length.
  3. The circuit has 15 turns (9 right and 6 left).
  4. Length of start/finish straight is 1,090 m.
  5. Circuit floodlighting – turning night into day.  A section of the floodlight system was partially used during the 2013 6 Hours of Bahrain and was fully operational for the 2014 race.
    • 495 light poles erected along the track
    • Each pole 10 to 45 metres in height
    • 5,000 lights
    • More than 500km of cabling


  1. The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 35 islands covering 780 square kilometres, making Bahrain the third smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore, and has a population of 1.3 million.
  2. Bahrain is the site of the ancient land of the Dilmun civilisation. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam in 628 AD. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire.  In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.
  3. Bahrain was a British protectorate from 1880 until 1971, when the Kingdom became independent.
  4. Causeways link the main island with two other islands and with its closest neighbour, Saudi Arabia.
  5. In Arabic, Bahrayn is the dual form of bahr ("sea"), so al-Bahrayn means "the two seas”.
  6. Bahrain World Trade Centre is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. Each turbine is 29m in diameter and their capacity is 675kw of wind power production.
  7. The first oil in the Arabian Gulf was discovered in Bahrain in 1932. 
  8. Bahrain’s flag used to be the largest flag in the world, setting a Guinness world record in 2004 at 169.5m long and 97.1m wide. The five red points signify the five pillars of Islam.

6 Hours of Bahrain

The 6 Hours of Bahrain will take place from 17-19 November.  Starting at 14h00 on Saturday, the race in the Middle East will be the second 6-hour event on the WEC calendar to finish under the stars following Lone Star Le Mans, and the atmosphere within the impressive Bahrain International Circuit will be electric. 

The weekend is an action-packed feast of racing with the Formula 2000 MRF Championship, which will have four races during the weekend, and two races by the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.

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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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The 6 Hours of Bahrain was full of drama and emotion as the FIA World Endurance Championship prepared to say goodbye to Audi and Mark Webber. 

At the end of the final race of the 2016 it was the no8 Audi crew of Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Jarvis, who had started from pole position, who were standing on the top step of the podium, with their teammates from the no7 crew alongside them on the second step. 

It was a race long battle between the two Audis as each car took turns to lead the race, with the no1 Porsche keeping them honest throughout.  The no7 Audi lost time when they had a problem with a tyre change and then the no8 had to pit for a new nose cone after debris built up which affected the aero and the handling of the car.  In the end it was the no8 car that had the advantage and Lucas Di Grassi brought the car home to claim their second victory in 2016 and also set a new lap record for the Bahrain circuit.

Mark Webber joined Porsche teammates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard on the final step of the podium as the 2015 World Champion ended his illustrious career on a highnote.

However all eyes were on the no2 Porsche 919 crew of Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani as they added the 2016 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship title to the 24 Hours of Le Mans crown they won in June.  They finished the race in 6th place, after losing time following a clash with the LMGTE Am class KCMG Porsche, which damaged the rear wheel and tyre, forcing Jani to make an unscheduled pitstop in the opening hour of the race. 

The two Toyotas were 5th and 6th with the no5 car leading home the sister TS050 one lap behind the top three cars and unable to challenge the Audis or the Porsches.

Ferrari were crowned champions in the FIA World Cup for Manufacturers after the two AF Corse F488s finished second and third at the end of the 6 hour race, giving them the title over Aston Martin at the end of the 2016 season.  The no51 Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado finished a lap ahead of the no71 F488 of teammates Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.

While Ferrari claimed the manufacturers’ title it was the Danish duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen who claimed the drivers title with a hard fought victory in the no95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage.  The ‘Dane Train’ was fighting with their teammates in the no97 Aston Martin early in the race but Jonny Adam was forced to pit after the front right wheel detached.  The damage took time to repair and the no97 car rejoined with a lot of ground to make up. Darren Turner and Jonny Adam eventually finished 5th in class, just one lap behind their teammates and less than 13 seconds behind the 4th placed no67 Ford GT of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx.

It was the no51 AF Corse Ferrari that took the fight to the no95 Aston Martin and when the chequered flag was shown the Anglo-Italian teammates were just 12.6 seconds behind.

The LMP2 victory went to the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Rene Rast and Alex Brundle.  The Russian team had claimed pole position but had to start at the back of the grid because of a homologation issue found in scrutineering following qualifying.  This meant that Rast had to fight his way through the field to get on terms with the LMP2 leaders and after great stints by Rusinov and Brundle, Rast brought the car home in front after a great battle with Filipe Albuquerque in the no43 RGR Sport Ligier. 

The no31 Extreme Speed Motorsport Ligier was leading the race as the clock showed 75 minutes remaining after Ryan Dalziel and Pipo Derani had shown some rapid pace.  Derani handed over the car to their gentleman driver Chris Cumming and the Canadian was unable to fend off the challenge of the vastly more experienced Rast and Albuquerque.  Cumming looked on course to finish on the podium but was caught and passed by the newly crowned LMP2 champion Nico Lapierre in the no36 Signatech Alpine and the ESM car had to settle for 4th place at the chequered flag.

The LMGTE Am Team and Driver title were decided before the chequered flag when the no98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, which had started from pole position, stopped on track with oily smoke pouring from the exhaust.  The world title was won by the no83 AF Corse Ferrari, with Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas claiming the drivers crown after finishing in third place for their 7th podium finish of the season.

The LMGTE Am win went to the no88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 of Patrick Long, David Heinemeier Hansson and Khaled Al Qubaisi, who began his racing career in Bahrain.  Long finished the race one lap ahead of the second placed no78 KCMG 911 to make it a 1-2 for Porsche in the final race of the 2016 season.

The 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship has now finished after an exciting nine race season.  The attention now turns to 2017 which begins with The Prologue in March at Monza in Italy.