The LMP2 class for the upcoming 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season is set for significant expansion, with a variety of new entrants planning programs pushing the likely number of full-season entries into double figures, up from seven this season.
A cap is understood to have been put in place to curb the growing interest in the category, as two potential entrants have been advised that a request to join the championship would not be successful. Currently, both United Autosports and Cetilar Racing are confirmed as new entrants, the former with a Ligier JS P217 and the latter set to field a Dallara P217. AF Corse is understood to be taking over from Villorba Corse in running the Cetilar program. Villorba Corse is running Cetilar’s effort at the European Le Mans Series meeting at Monza this weekend and, after two full seasons in ELMS, it is likely to run the effort for the last time at Le Mans next month.
Also expected to step up to the WEC next season is Cool Racing. The Swiss-flagged outfit, which is racing in LMP2 competition for just the second time this weekend at Monza in the ELMS, is expected to add to the WEC pack with current Alpine driver Nicolas Lapierre as part of the effort.
Another high-profile team, from another area of motorsport, is also understood to be on the cusp of racing in the WEC for the first time too, with a two-car ORECA program. Add to that the likely return of Jota Sport/Jackie Chan DC Racing, Signatech Alpine, Larbre Competition, DragonSpeed, and TDS Racing (but with Frits van Eerd’s Racing Team Nederland program rather than a tie-up with Francois Perrodo’s) and you have a significantly bolstered grid for the new season.
Dutch team Davytec, meanwhile, is also known to be evaluating options, although whether or not the WEC forms part of its plan is not yet clear. It may well campaign one of van Eerd’s pair of Dallara P217s in an effort separate from Racing Team Nederland.
Other teams are also working on guest appearances during the WEC season. This includes G-Drive Racing and its Aurus 01, the Russian team targeting one-off appearances at Bahrain and potentially Fuji.