This weekend the green flag for the 2015 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be finally waved, as the 6 Hours of Silverstone event will receive 29 cars spread into four categories, all of them hungry for the first victory of the season.
Some late changes were announced this week, what generated mixed reactions on the fans, as it was announced that famous Le Mans-style grid formation will be used in the other FIA WEC races, as well the absence of grid girls for the first time in the event, a decision that generated lots of controversy.
From the original entry list of 35 cars, won’t be present at Silverstone the pairs of machines from Nissan and Rebellion Racing, due to adjustments in their respective cars, as well the Morgans from SARD-Morand, due to issues related to the ownership of the team.
From what will be on the circuit on Sunday, let’s take a look in a class-by-class basis:
The main class of the FIA WEC is restored to one, after been split last year into LMP1-H (for hybrid manufacturer entries) and LMP1-L (for non-hybrid privateer entries). Two teams won’t make the trip to England, but there’s action enough for every fan in the class, as Toyota, Audi and Porsche represent the manufacturer’s side with two cars each, while ByKolles Racing is the only privateer with only one car.
The Prologue test normally doesn’t do justice about the favorites, but the Porsche 919s ran pretty well at Paul Ricard, proving that the almost 30.000 km of tests were worth the effort. World champions of Toyota shouldn’t be underestimated with their TS040s as their pace in six hours races is always good, as well the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron Quattro. ByKolles was way off the pace, lapping along with the LMP2 cars, so staying ahead of them should be a victory this Sunday.
The cost-capped prototype category receives some new teams and new faces onboard the cars, instead of the four-car show of 2014. It’s always a well-balanced category, so being used with the machinery should play a role to fight for a class win.
G-Drive Racing should count as a favorite, due to their consistency and their knowledge of the package (Ligier JS P2-Nissan) and the fact they are going with two cars instead of one, but there are some shadows that could threat the Russian team. KCMG from Hong Kong was especially fast with their ORECA 05 coupé, and Strakka Racing with their well-prepared Dome S103 is a team worth of a look, especially being at their homeland.
The main Gran Touring category will start the season with a question: will Aston Martin and Porsche finally overcome the domain of Ferrari and AF Corse?
The Aston Martin Vantage V8 did quite a show in the Prologue test, but there are some changes mandated by the regulation to be made in the car, and it is still unknown how it will perform. But that won’t be a problem, as their three cars have strong lineups, which should bring trouble to the Italian side. The Porsche 911s weren’t at the top at Paul Ricard, but can’t be discarded from the bet, as they won at Silverstone last year.
The lower Gran Turing class saw the departure of the Dane Train as they moved to LMGTE-Pro, which can make the competition more open. As the other Aston Martin lineups didn’t changed that much, they can have a shot at victory. Ferrari has good lineups both in the AF Corse car and in the SMP Racing car, so they can be contenders to stop the British domination on home soil.
Of course you don’t want to miss the action, right? Then, here’s the time table (according to UK timezone):
- April 11th, Saturday
LMGTE classes: 12h 00
LMP classes: 12h 30
- April 12th, Sunday
PHOTOS: FIA WEC