2023 World Endurance Championship preview | How do I watch and who is racing?

17th March 2023
Ben Miles

The 2023 season might be the most important in the history of the World Endurance Championship since its very first one back in 2012. Eleven years after the series’s troubled debut (Peugeot pulled out on the eve of season one and it only survived when Toyota agreed to bring its programme forward) the health of the WEC is finally no longer in question. When the 2023 season kicks off in Sebring we’ll enter what is already being called a golden era.


What cars are racing in the World Endurance Championship in 2023?

Technically very little has changed for the World Endurance Championship this year. Hypercar has been the top class since 2021, the current LMP2 cars debuted in 2017 and GTE remains a stalwart from the very beginning.

But in reality, almost everything has changed. Starting with the top class, rather than just Toyota racing for the full season as a major OEM, the Japanese brand is now joined by Ferrari, Peugeot, Cadillac and Porsche. And that’s not even to mention the smaller brands. Glickenhaus’ presence in the 2021 and 2022 championship arguably ensured the first years of Hypercar were not a total damp squib, the American boutique brand returns for 2023 with a single car entry and long-term WEC team ByKolles is back with its new Vanwall effort.

LMP2 is still exactly the same, except that now the whole field has succumbed to running Orecas (the final holdout Ligier has been ditched), and the brief LMP2 pro/am category has been ditched with the influx of manufacturers at the top. 

Change also comes to the GTE ranks. This is the final year that GTE cars will race in the WEC, to be replaced by GT3-spec machines in 2024, and for its final season the GTE-Am category races alone in the road-based section. While there is no all-pro section, Cadillac will race a fully factory supported team in the pro-am category for the first time ever, meaning we retain the four manufacturers that have raced for the last few years: Chevrolet, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari.


I’ve heard about LMH and LMDh what are they?

The top category of the World Endurance Championship is simply called ‘Hypercar’, and all the cars will race against each other as a single championship all running a Balance of Performance to make it more competitive. But two different specifications of cars are eligible to race at this top level: LMH and LMDh.

LMH cars are purpose-built racing cars, designed and made from the ground up to be bespoke to each manufacturer. They can be based on a road-going chassis or a pure race car, they can be hybrid or pure ICE, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive and as they are balanced together by the BoP are effectively budget limited.

LMDh cars use the next generation of LMP2 chassis as their base, and are all hybrids using a spec hybrid system from Bosch and WAE. The brands building LMDh machines select a chassis manufacturer to work with from a pool of four: Dallara, Ligier, Oreca and Multimatic. The brand then adds custom bodywork and engine. These are then balanced together with the LMH machines via the Balance of Performance by the ACO (the Automobile Club de l’Ouest which runs the championship with the FIA). 

Which brands have made LMH and LMDh cars?

Toyota, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, Ferrari and Vanwall have built cars to LMH regulations. Porsche and Cadillac enter the championship with LMDh cars. The current car list is:

Toyota GR010

Ferrari 499P

Glickenhaus SCG007

Peugeot 9X8

Vanwall Vandervell 680

Porsche 963

Cadillac V Series.R


Are there more brands joining the WEC?

Yes, this season Isotta Fraschini will join with its Hypercar, and then from 2024 it all goes a bit wild. BMW already has an LMDh car, which is racing only in IMSA this year, but will race at Le Mans next year, and therefore in the WEC. Lamborghini has committed to building an LMDh car as has Alpine, which raced in WEC with an old LMP1 car in 2021 and 2022. Acura also has an LMDh car, but is yet to commit to racing it on the world stage, where it would need to be rebranded as a Honda.

Didn’t I read something about privateer cars? Where are they?

They are coming, just not quite yet for the WEC. Jota has revealed the livery for its privateer Porsche 963, and will receive its car soon. Proton Competition (a long-time Porsche parter in GT racing) is expecting a car, as is the American JDC-Miller outfit. A new team running under the historic Pescarolo banner is hoping to enter next season with a private Peugeot 9X8.

Currently only Porsche has committed to selling privateer cars, although with Pescarolo sounding confident it seems like Peugeot will join, so it is yet to be seen just how big the Hypercar grid could get.

Are there any drivers I know in the WEC?

Of course. The grid is filled with former F1 drivers, youngsters making their way up the ladder and sportscar legends.

In the former F1 category is Brendon Hartley, Paul Di Resta, Sebastien Buemi, Robert Kubica, Antonio Giovinazzi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Pietro Fittipaldi, Kamui Kobayashi, Daniil Kvyat and, for the first time, 1997 F1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve. 

Sportscars’ top stars back for another season include Andre Lotterer, Harry Tincknell, Romain Dumas, Kevin Estre, Oliver Jarvis, Mike Conway, Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Fred Makowiecki, James Calado, and Loic Duval.

You can find the full entry list for the first race here.


When is the first race?

Today (if you’re reading this on 17th March 2023). It’s the 1,000 miles of Sebring, which runs for either 1,000 miles or eight hours, depending on which comes first. 

How can I watch the World Endurance Championship?

In the UK you can watch every round on Eurosport, which is available either with a satellite TV subscription or via Discovery+, which also requires a subscription. Or you can sign up to watch every round and every session in full on the World Endurance Championship app. Both will use the same commentary team, featuring the excellent voices of Graham Goodwin, Martin Haven and Anthony Davidson.

In France some races will be broadcast free-to-air on La Chaine L’Equipe. In Italy the races will be shown on Sky Sports, Germany also has free-to-air coverage on RTL Nitro. 

In the USA the whole season will be shown on MotorTrend while Canadian viewers can see the action on Discovery Velocity both of which require a subscription.

Eurosport will show the race across Asia, while Japanese viewers will be able to watch on Jsports 3. In Australia the racing will be shown for free on Go! and New Zealand will have coverage on Sky Sports 5.

What is the 2023 WEC calendar?

You can find the full 2023 WEC calendar here.

Is Le Mans part of the WEC?

Yes, it’ll form the fourth round this season after Sebring, Portimao and Spa.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • WEC

  • WEC 2023

  • LMH

  • LMDh

  • Ferrari

  • Peugeot

  • Caddillac

  • Glickenhaus

  • Toyota

  • Porsche

  • Aston Martin

  • Corvette

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