2024 World Endurance Championship | How to watch WEC

01st March 2024
Ben Miles

While 2023 seemed like a momentous year for the World Endurance Championship, it’s surely 2024 when things are coming to a head. This year not only are the Hypercar teams now established and used to their cars, but the WEC receives an influx of new cars in the new LMGT3 class. So what do you need to look out for in 2024 and how do you watch?


What is new for WEC 2024?

There are still the same amount of cars racing in the World Endurance Championship this year, but the balance has changed dramatically. There are now 19 cars in the top Hypercar class, the most that has ever contested overall victories by a long way, and an additional 18 GT3 cars.

Are there any new Hypercars for 2024?

Yes. In terms of brand new cars, Lamborghini arrives with a single SC63 (it will have two cars at Le Mans, and the second SC63 for now will stick to IMSA competition) and Alpine has a pair of its new A424s. BMW brings its M Hybrid V8 over to global competition for the first time after a learning year in IMSA and the Isotta Fraschini name returns to competition with the Tipo-6C.

Also adding to the grid for the first time in 2024 are a couple of new Hypercar privateers. Jota ran a Hertz-liveried Porsche 963 in 2023 and will add a second in an identical livery for 2024. We will also see the first privately-entered car built to the LMH regulations (so far all privateers have been LMDh machines) as AF Corse brings its outside-funded Ferrari 499P in a striking yellow livery.


Has the WEC calendar changed for 2024?

Yes. Since the pandemic the WEC calendar has been gently expanding. The ACO and FIA, which jointly run the series via the LMEM company, haven’t wanted to push too fast, given that the effects of Covid-19 have had a very long tail. So the series has only grown from six to eight races since 2021.

In fact we have four new races for 2024, due to a whole load of calendar fiddling. Gone from last year are the 1,000 miles of Sebring, the 6 Hours of Monza and the 6 Hours of Portimao. Sebring leaves in part due to the WEC really wanting to be the main show in town rather than a support race, Monza departs while work is done on the facilities and with the new races coming in there was no place for Portimao.

In their place we visit one brand new country and return to three nations. Sebring is replaced as the opening round of the season by a trip to Qatar and Losail, and as the American round of the championship by a return to the Circuit of the Americas. Stepping in to cover Monza is Imola, which will host its first top-level sportscar race since 2011. The final addition to the calendar sees the World Endurance Championship make a much welcomed return to Brazil and Interlagos.


What happened to LMP2?

With the influx of cars into the top Hypercar class and the number of GT cars that needed to fit into LMGT3 there was no space, and really no need, for a second level of prototype racing in the WEC. LMP2 still exists in the regional series – you can find it in IMSA, the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series – and will return to the grid for the Le Mans 24 Hours, but will not form part of the full-season WEC grid.

Which manufacturers are racing in GT?

The new LMGT3 class isn’t quite as new as LMEM would make out. These are global GT3 cars that have been racing in various series (including the ACO’s own Le Mans Cup) for years and step in to replace the old, more expensive LMGTE cars.

What is new is the number of manufacturers that arrive to race in the class. The old faithful four are still there, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette and Aston Martin, but they are joined by BMW, Lamborghini, McLaren, Ford and Lexus. The WEC has decided to only allow two cars per manufacturer and to let the manufacturers pick the teams that are taking part so, other than Le Mans, don’t expect to see the old flood of Porsches or Ferraris.


Are there any famous drivers in WEC in 2024?

Obviously. The growth of sportscars since convergence between the ACO and IMSA has seen a lot of young and not-so-young drivers whose F1 aspirations seemed to be dwindling make the switch to a potential paying career in prototype or GT racing.

Among them are a host of former F1 drivers, principal of which must be Mick Schumacher, Robert Kubica and 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button. Paul Di Resta, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Will Stevens, Andre Lotterer, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat, Jean-Eric Vergne, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries make up the rest of the ex-F1 list.

Former and current IndyCar drivers due to take part in this season include reigning champion Alex Palou, multiple champion Scott Dixon and race winner Mike Conway.

Perhaps the most interesting set of drives making the move into the WEC is a series of former F2 and F3 drivers who have sought a new career as the route to single seaters closes off to them. Callum Ilott, runner-up to Mick Schumacher in F2, will race for Jota, Ferdinand Habsburg has set his stall out in sportscars for several years now and gets his drive in a Hypercar with Alpine for the first time while Ferrari protege Robert Schwartzman will race the AF Corse 499P.

But one driver stands above all of these in terms of the eyes he could bring to the WEC. Multiple Motorcycle World Champion Valentino Rossi never tried to hide his ambitions to race in cars when his two-wheeled career finished. For 2024 his route to the Hypercar class continues with a drive in WRT’s BMW M4. Rossi has shown some good speed through the various GT3 series in which he has taken part over the last few years, so it will be fascinating to see how he adapts to the global scene.


How do I watch WEC in 2024?

The main place to watch the whole season is through the FIA WEC’s own app, which will include a full broadcast schedule led by an excellent commentary team that includes Martin Haven, Anthony Davidson and Graham Goodwin among others. While the app is free to download, and there will be a free audio-only option, the broadcast is paid for. The whole season can be bought for €59.99 and includes the whole season and Le Mans. Individual races will cost €8.99.

Large parts of Europe will be able to see all or part of the races on Eurosport or full races will be available on Discovery+ which costs around £6.99 a month, or check if your TV provider will include it.

In the USA every race will be shown on Max, with more coverage on MotorTrend via the MotorTrend app. In most of Asia coverage can be found on 2Which, or on Doujin in China. Japan’s WEC coverage can be found on J Sports 3 while in Australia all the races will be streamed on StanSport.


When does the WEC Qatar 1812km start?

The first race of the 2024 WEC season, the unusally-distanced Qatar 1,812km will start at 11.00 local time, 08.00 GMT, 09.00 CET on Saturday 2nd March.

It is expected the race will probably get toward its maximum-allowed time of ten hours, so expect the chequered flag to drop toward 21.00 Qatar time, 18.00 GMT, 19.00 CET.

Where can I find more information?

Check out other articles we have on the WEC with the full calendarentry list and the separate entry list for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

If you miss any of the action we’ll have a round up on the Monday after every round of the 2024 WEC season.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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