Monday 1 May 2017

FIA WEC 2017 - 30 cars on the grid in Spa-Francorchamps

For the second round of the 2017 World Endurance Championship in Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, 30 cars have been announced on the entry list. 3 cars more than the season opener at Silverstone, with the addition of the third Toyota and 2 LMP2 cars. 

Six cars will compete in the LMP1 class, one more than in Silverstone with the addition of a third Toyota TS050. Toyota Gazoo Racing enters its third car in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours next month. The #9 LMP1 will be driven by Stéphane Sarrazin, Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre. It's believed that the #6 & #7 Toyota's will run in the same aero trim as Silverstone, while the #9 will feature the Le Mans spec low downforce kit.

The #4 ByKolles Enso CLMP1/01 remains the sole car in the non-hybrid LMP1 class. James Rossiter and Dominik Kraihamer are confirmed for the race in Spa and are also expected at Le Mans.

The LMP2 class expands to 11 cats for the race at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.  Absent in Silverstone, the second Signtach Alpine Matmut A 470 makes his debut in the World Endurance Championship. Behind the wheel of the #35 will be Pierre Ragues (France), André Negrão (Brazil) and Nelson Panciatici (France). In the #36 Alpine, Romain Dumas will replace Nicolas Lapierre, who is on driving duties with Toyota Gazoo Racing in the third Toyota in Spa and Le Mans. 

Another driver change will be seen in the #28 TDS Racing Oreca. Matthieu Vaxiviere suffers from an injury on his left foot, leaving him unable to race at Spa. Ben Hanley, who races with Dragonspeed in the European Le Mans Series, will take his place this weekend in Belgium.

Tockwith Motorsports starts its preparation for Le Mans in Spa-Francorchamps, bringing their Gibson powered Ligier JSP217 at the start in Belgium. Season regulars Nigel Moore and Philip Hanson will be joined by Karun Chandhok at Spa and Le Mans.  Chandhok returns to Le Mans after his last appearance in 2015 with Murphy Prototypes.  With the entry of the Tockwith Ligier, the race at Spa will be the first in the FIA WEC with not only Oreca 07's at the start. 

No changes in the GTE classes, with 8 cars in the Pro and 6 cars in the Am class. Both Ford and Aston Martin Racing are running their Le Mans driver trio's again while Ferrari and Porsche will be running the full season 2-driver line ups.

Track action in Spa-Francorchamps starts on Thursday at 11.45h for the first 90 minute free practice session. The 6 hour race will be run on Saturday, the green flag being waved at 14.30h local time.

Practical info for the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps:

Entry list
Spotter guide
Event Map

Kristof Vermeulen.