The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship has revealed a 33-car season entry for the full six-race season.
The new top class, Hypercar, encompassing the new LMH cars from Toyota (pictured above) and Glickenhaus and a grandfathered Rebellion LMP1 car to be fielded by Signatech Alpine numbers five cars for its inaugural season, with the expected sixth — a new Gibson V8-powered LMH from previous LMP1 privateer team ByKolles Racing — failing to file an entry.
The entry list gives details of the first named drivers for the U.S.-flagged Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus effort, which nominated Californian ex-LMP1 racer Gustavo Menezes in one car and IMSA/IndyCar veteran Ryan Briscoe in the other.
“Hypercar marks a turning point for endurance racing,” declared Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “This new top class is the dawn of a bright future for the discipline with Toyota, Glickenhaus and Alpine ready to engage in thrilling battles on the track. Despite today’s adverse conditions, the grid remains impressive, and our championship as popular as ever.”
The GTE Pro class numbers the expected four cars with two apiece for the Porsche and Ferrari factory-backed teams, both mildly shuffling their driver packs for the season with Swiss 2016 overall WEC drivers’ champion Neel Jani joining the Porsche effort and double GTE Pro Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Daniel Serra, son of ex-F1 racer Chico Serra, joining the full-season Ferrari attack.
Both the LMP2 and GTE Am classes feature entries in double figures, while LMP2 has five new additions to the roster.
Belgian-based Team WRT joins the latter class from GT3, where it scored two overall wins at the Spa 24 Hours, a win at the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hours and multiple other major race and international title wins. WRT moves over from DTM for 2021 and brings highly rated Dutch GT, Formula E and DTM racer Robin Frijns as its first nominated driver for the team’s No. 31.
As announced yesterday, the all-female crewed Richard Mille Racing squad will also move into the WEC for 2021, with their ORECA 07 carrying No. 1 for the season.
Polish squad Inter Europol Competition, who featured on the entry for the 2020 Petit Le Mans and Sebring 12 Hours, steps up to the WEC for the first time with both Renger van der Zande and Alex Brundle named on their driving crew.
French-flagged RealTeam Racing field another ORECA with ex-Audi factory driver and WEC champion Loic Duval among its driver roster, while veteran Slovakian amateur racer Miro Konopka fields the only non-ORECA in the class with his Ligier JS P217.
Returning champion United Autosports brings back now Gold-ranked Phil Hanson and Felipe Albuquerque for the season with open-wheel racer Fabio Scherer from Switzerland added as the required Silver-ranked driver.
High Class Racing (with an entry that includes Jan Magnussen), DragonSpeed (with an entry that includes both Juan Pablo Montoya and Ben Hanley), JOTA (with a two-car entry including ex-F1 racer Stoffel Vandoorne and ex-BMW factory driver Tom Blomqvist in one car and reigning Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa and ex F1 driver and 2014 WEC drivers’ champion Anthony Davidson in the other), and Racing Team Nederland (with Giedo van der Garde and emerging LMP2 ace Job van Uitert) complete a highly competitive 11-car entry.
The GTE Am class features a 13-car entry, with five apiece featuring Ferrari and Porsche machinery and a trio of Aston Martins.
“There is no doubt that the future of endurance racing looks very bright and this is perfectly demonstrated by the strength and variety of teams on the entry list,” said Frederic Lequien, CEO of the FIA WEC. “Not only do we have a brand-new Hypercar category which is set to grow even bigger from next year, but it’s extremely encouraging to see record numbers of entrants in the LMP2 and LMGTE Am classes. To have six females join the grid also highlights the diversity in our championship and endurance racing as a whole. The 2021 WEC season will definitely be one to watch.”