The World Endurance Championship has revealed its 33 car entry for the upcoming 2021 season. With a record number of LMP2 and GTE-Am entries and five cars – from Toyota, Glickenhaus and Alpine, set to fight for overall LMH honours.
Update: Glickenhaus Monza driver line-up announced
Updated 12:00 Thursday 17th June 2021. Glickenhaus has revealed its driver line-up for the WEC’s 8 Hours of Monza on 18th July. At the SCG 007 LMH’s first race at Portimao, the #709 car was driven by Romain Dumas, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, but for the race at Monza Briscoe will be swapped out for Franck Mailleux. The second SCG 007 LMH, car #708, will be driven by Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla and Gustavo Menezes.
Jim Glickenhaus, the team’s founder, has said that the tweaked driver line-up is to give each of its seven contracted drivers a race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 21st and 22nd August.
Update: Glickenhaus announces drivers for Portimao WEC debut
Updated 15:00 Saturday 15th May 2021. Glickenhaus has named its drivers for its WEC debut with the new Glickenhaus 007 LMH, with Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the hot seat. Glickenhaus missed the first race of the season, the Six Hours of Spa won by Toyota, but will take to the track competitively for the first time at the Eight Hours of Portimao, Portugal, on 13th June. From there the SCG 007 will make its way to the UK for the 2021 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard on 8th-11th July, and after that it’ll head to Le Mans.
Update: Full 2021 WEC entry list revealed
Updated 09:30 Thursday April 29 The full entry list for the 2021 World Endurance Championship has been unveiled, featuring five cars in the top LMH class, including four brand-new Le Mans Hypercars, and a total of 33 different entries.
The headlines will fall on the entries from Toyota and Glickenhaus, which each have two cars set to race in the new Le Mans Hypercar class, which replaces the outgoing LMP1 for 2020. They will be joined by Alpine, which runs a single Alpine A480 – in reality a re-badged Rebellion R13 – LMP1 car, grandfathered to compete with the latest generation of prototype racers. Glickenhaus will not race at the first round of the season, at Spa in May, and is likely to not publicly debut its 007 LMH cars until the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard in July.
The prototype field will be bolstered by 11 LMP2 entries, the largest ever, including the first ever all-female LMP2 line-up, from Richard Mille Racing. Featuring Tatiana Calderon, Sophie Floersch and Bietske Visser the trio will race the Oreca 07 Gibson that has come to dominate the field – indeed only one of the entries in LMP2 is not using the Oreca, a single Ligier JSP17 entered by ARC Bratislava.
For the first time the LMP2 field will have a sub category for Pro/Am cars, which must feature a bronze-ranked driver. Five cars, from High Class Racing, Dragonspeed, Racing Team Nederland, ARC Bratislava and Real Team Racing will battle for these honours. In the rest of the LMP2 field major motorsport names include former F1 drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Stoffel Vandoorne, 2014 WEC World Champion Anthony Davidson, reigning Formula E World Champion Antonio Felix da Costa, plus four-time Le Mans category winner, Jan Magnussen. Reigning LMP2 and ELMS Champions Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson also return for 2021.
While the GT ranks have dropped in numbers somewhat in the Pro category following the departures of BMW, Ford and Aston Martin over the last few years, Porsche and Ferrari still fight it out for GTE-Pro honours, each fielding a car each. They will be joined for select events – including the opening round and Le Mans – by Corvette with its C8Rs.
Despite pulling out of GTE-Pro to concentrate on its F1 efforts, Aston Martin will still be represented in GTE-Am alongside Porsche and Ferrari. A total of 13 cars will race (five Ferrari, five Porsche and three Aston Martin), making it a record for the GTE-Am ranks. There will also be another all-female line-up in this class, with Iron Lynx racing entering with Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting.
Updated 16:30 Tuesday 16th March. Alpine has unveiled the LMP1 car which it will race in the World Endurance Championship’s new LMH class in 2021. The car is a direct rebadge of the Oreca-built Rebellion R-13 which was fielded to two overall victories by the Swiss team in 2020. Rebellion has since quit motorsport, with Alpine stepping in to rebadge a slowed-down version of the R-13 as the Alpine A480.
Wearing a livery very reminiscent of the firm’s new F1 car, the A480 was unveiled today (16th March) ready for Alpine’s step up from the LMP2 category to the new LMH band, which will top the World Endurance Championship from this season. Although not a car built to those new Le Mans Hypercar regulations, the ACO and FIA, who run the championship, have agreed to a process of “grandfathering” old LMP1 cars into the category, to help ease the transition and increase turnout. The A480 will need to be significantly slowed down to run at the same pace as its rivals in the LMH class, Toyota’s GR010 and the Glickenhaus SCG 007.
Alpine took three class victories over the last few years as part of a partnership with French team Signatech, which will continue in 2020. Like the A480, the car that ran in LMP2 was a rebadged Oreca car running under the Alpine banner. While the A480 is a rebadged chassis from 2020 and will have its pace controlled by the ACO, Alpine has said it plans to develop the car through the year in conjunction with Oreca.
Renault CEO Luca de Meo said: “Taking up this new challenge shows how ambitious we are. Alpine has been back in endurance racing since 2013 and we’ve climbed our way season after season.
“Last time we won the ‘queen category’ was in 1978. That’s quite a challenge to live up to but I’m fully confident that the new A480 will rise up to it.”
Update: Glickenhaus WEC driver line-up confirmed
Updated 17:00 Friday 29th January. Glickenhaus revealed the rest of its driver line-up for the 2021 World Endurance championship, including double-Le Mans winner, and Goodwood outright Hill record holder, Romain Dumas.
The Frenchman, who won Le Mans for both Audi and Porsche, will be race with sportscar regulars Pipo Derani, Richard Westbook, Oliver Pla and Franck Mailleux as Glickenhuas makes its WEC debut in the new-for-2021 Le Mans Hypercar class. They join already-announced drivers Gustavo Menezes and Ryan Briscoe, who were confirmed last week.
Glickenhaus has not revealed which of the seven drivers will share which LMH007 car, or whether one of the drivers will be acting as a reserve – given the WEC has a three-driver-per-car limit.
Team founder Jim Glickenhaus said: "We are proud of each driver who has joined our team.
"We are an international David verses Goliath, and our history shows we punch well above our weight class."
Update: Nicolas Lapierre joins Alpine
Updated 11:45 Wednesday 27th January. Former Toyota and Peugeot LMP1 driver Nicolas Lapierre will step back up to the top class of the World Endurance Championship in 2021 as he races for Alpine.
The Frenchman has multiple LMP2-class Le Mans victories under his belt with teams including the Signatec outfit that will run the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 car in 2021. He will race the Oreca-developed car alongside countryman Mathieu Vaxiviere and already announced Brazilian Andre Negrao.
Lapierre left Signatech at the end of 2019 to race for the Cool Racing team, whose outfit is run by the team that Lapierre co-owns, but will return for 2021 (while still racing in the ELMS with Cool).
The entry list will also form the large part of the entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, with the WEC full season entries all guaranteed a place in the main race. The headline for 2021 will be the first appearance of cars in the Hypercar class, with Toyota and Glickenhaus now the only two entries for the first season, following the disappearance of the expected ByKolles entry.
They will be joined in the top category by French brand Alpine, which is set to run rebadged Rebellion R13s, grandfathered to compete with the new cars. The drivers have been confirmed, namely Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Mathieu Vaxiviere.
Toyota had already confirmed its six drivers for the new GR010. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez will continue to pilot the number 7 car while Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley share the 8.
Eleven cars are entered into the second-tier LMP2 class, including the all-female trio of Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch and Bietske Visser in a Richard Mille supported Oreca. Ten of the 11 cars entered will be Oreca 07s, as the car has become the dominant car in class since the current LMP2 rules came into place. The only exception is the ARC Bratislava entered Ligier JSP17, racing in the Pro/Am category.
GTE Pro is the area that sees the most change, after Aston Martin announced its withdrawal from top level GT racing to focus on F1 and customer GT racing. That means only four cars will compete for Pro honours, two Ferrari 488 GTEs and two Porsche 911s. The lower GTE Am category, which uses year-old cars and has stricter driver regulations, is much healthier, with 13 entries making it the largest class in the field.