Thirty cars for WEC Prologue Test at Barcelona

Image by LAT

Thirty cars for WEC Prologue Test at Barcelona

Le Mans/WEC

Thirty cars for WEC Prologue Test at Barcelona

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The entry list for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s pre-season Prologue Test at Barcelona has been released and features 30 cars across the four classes.

Those entered will have the chance to take part in 16 hours of track time spread over two days of running at the Spanish Grand Prix circuit.

LMP1 features just six cars following the surprise withdrawal earlier today of the two SMP Racing BR1 AER’s from the upcoming season.

Recently crowned FIA World Endurance LMP1 Teams’ Champions Toyota Gazoo Racing (photo above) will bring its full 2019/20 driver line-up, including Brendon Hartley who has replaced Fernando Alonso in the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID.

Rebellion Racing has not yet confirmed the crews for its R-13s in Barcelona, but Team LNT has Charlie Robertson and Michael Simpson entered to test its pair of Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AERs.

In advance of the Prologue, RACER understands that Team LNT will run both G60s at Paul Ricard this week.

A total of five GTE Pro cars will make the trip to Spain, AF Corse and Porsche GT Team bringing two cars apiece, while Aston Martin will run just one Vantage AMR.

AF’s two Ferrari 488 GTE Evos will be driven by three of its regular drivers, James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Davide Rigon. There is one TBA, in the seat usually filled by Sam Bird.

AF Corse will bring its pair of Ferrari 488 GTE EVOs. Image by Ehrhardt/LAT

Porsche GT team has listed four drivers to test the newly upgraded Porsche 911 RSR-19 shown for the first time publically at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week. Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre will all take turns behind the wheel.

Aston Martin Racing has opted to bring all four full-season factory drivers to the test to share the No. 97 Vantage. Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim will all get time behind the wheel.

In LMP2, there will be four new teams making their full-season debut in the WEC at the test: United Autosports, High Class Racing, Cool Racing and Cetilar Racing, which is stepping up from the ELMS this year.

Italian team Cetilar will run a Dallara P217 Gibson with Andrea Belicchi, Roberto Lacorte and Giorgio Sernagiotto named as its drivers, while Danish driver High Class Racing will bring Mark Patterson to test its ORECA.

Cetilar Racing is stepping up from ELMS to the WEC for 2019/20. Image by Portlock/LAT

Cool Racing will field a similar car, for Alpine regular Nicolas Lapierre, Antonin Borga and Alexandre Coigny. Anglo-American outfit United Autosport will bring along drivers Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta.

Finally, Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Robert Gonzalez will drive for JOTA Sport, the trio making the switch from DragonSpeed to the British team at the end of the ‘Super Season’.

Regular WEC LMP2 teams Signatech Alpine, Jackie Chan DC Racing and Racing Team Nederland all will bring their Gibson powered ORECA 07s to the season eight test.

Interestingly, only five of the teams have declared which tire brand they will use. United, Signatech, Cool and Celtilar are down to run Michelins, while High Class Racing is listed as a Goodyear team (the name of the parent company replacing its Dunlop brand in the WEC LMP2 tire war).

GTE Am is another class which features WEC newcomers getting their first taste of the championship, including British team Red River Sport which, in collaboration with Spirit of Race, will bring a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo to Barcelona. British drivers Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem are listed to drive.

Reigning LM GTE Am Team Champions and 2018 Le Mans class winner Team Project 1 will bring two cars with Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey the two drivers named to test its pair of Porsche 911 RSR cars.

AF Corse will also send two Ferrari 488 GTE Evos with their full line-ups: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Giancarlo Fisichella will take to the wheel of the No. 54 car while 2016 class champions François Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard will be joined by reigning Ferrari Challenge Europe Champion Nicklas Nielsen in the No. 83.

Finally, regular GTE Am entries Aston Martin Racing, Gulf Racing and MR Racing will also be present in Barcelona, while last year’s category runners-up Dempsey-Proton Racing will be there with both its full-season 911 RSRs.

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