Despite both BMW and Ford announcing last month that they would be pulling their GTE Pro factory programs, growth in the other three classes should ensure that over 30 cars take part in the full 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, RACER understands.
Corvette Racing’s plans are unknown, the team not expected to enter the full season with its C8.R, although more guest appearances are possible.
Elsewhere, though, things are looking quite healthy in the FIA WEC. Paddock sources confirm that at least nine LMP1 entries have been submitted, with two-car efforts from Toyota Gazoo Racing, SMP Racing, Rebellion Racing and from a team fielding the Ginetta AER package, plus a singleton ByKolles entry.
The only omission here is DragonSpeed, the American team set to focus on its IndyCar commitments over its WEC program going forward.
LMP2, meanwhile, should feature at least eight regular entries. A planned two-car effort by a single-seater team new to sportscar racing has fallen short, but the field will still see some growth: ORECAs from Jota Sport, Jackie Chan DC Racing, Signatech Alpine (badged as an A470), TDS Racing, and Cool Racing all are expected, along with Ligiers from Larbre Competition and United Autosports, plus a Cetilar Racing Dallara, meaning three of the four LMP2 chassis will have representation once again.
Then there’s GTE Am, which looks to grow significantly. Next season both Aston Martin efforts (AMR and TF Sport) are set to return with new Vantage GTEs now that the latest model is eligible for the Pro-Am class.
Porsche’s numbers look set to grow as well, thanks to a second full-season entry from Project 1, the team currently leading the Championship and committing its second 911 RSR to a full WEC program. Dempsey Proton Racing (with a pair of Porsches) and Gulf Racing look set to return too, making a likely total of five 911 RSRs in the class.
The other marque which will feature is Ferrari, though the final tally is unknown as there will likely be significant changes in the ranks. Anywhere between 3-5 may be fielded for the full season, a mix of AF Corse customer teams and a likely Kessel Racing entry.
If the forecast is accurate, that totals a 10-12 car GTE Am field and a total entry of 33-35 cars for the 2019/20 Championship. Frequent guest appearances are also expected, with G-Drive Racing’s Aurus 01 and the APM Monaco Proton Porsche most likely. There’s also scope for the remaining GTE Pro marques (Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari) to enter third cars at select events.
An official announcement regarding the 2019/20 entry is expected during Le Mans race week.