WEC confirms 37-car entry for Sebring 1000

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WEC confirms 37-car entry for Sebring 1000

Le Mans/WEC

WEC confirms 37-car entry for Sebring 1000

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The entry list for the 1000 Miles of Sebring has been released, with 37 cars set to compete across the three categories for the opening round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship.

ENTRY LIST

In the Le Mans Hypercar category, 11 cars are listed, with Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche and Vanwall joining the returning marques from last season, Toyota, Glickenhaus and Peugeot.

Toyota’s driver crew from 2022 remains unchanged, as does Peugeot’s from the season finale in Bahrain. Glickenhaus returns with a single car and three of its regulars from last year, with Romain Dumas, Ryan Briscoe and Olivier Pla named. This is Glickenhaus’ second time competing in the FIA WEC on home soil, and Peugeot’s first time at Sebring with the 9X8.

It’s the rest of the class that we are seeing for the first time. Porsche’s pair of Penske-run factory 963s are listed, with full driver lineups. Ferrari’s factory 499Ps also appear for the first time, joined by single-car efforts from Cadillac Racing and Vanwall Racing.

Missing are the two customer Porsche 963s that were on the full-season entry list from JOTA and Proton. JOTA’s No. 38 is set to miss the opening two races of the campaign at Sebring at Portimao, the team forced to wait for the new car to arrive from Weissach where it is currently being built. Proton will also debut in the top class later in the season, though Christian Reid’s outfit is believed to be targeting a post-Le Mans debut at Monza for its challenger.

In LMP2 there will be 12 entries in LMP2 at Sebring, including JOTA with a pair of ORECA 07s, one (the No. 48) under the Hertz Team JOTA banner as a temporary measure until Spa when the “Mighty 38″will make its debut in LMH. Listed for the car are two of the three drivers set to drive for the team in Hypercar, Will Stevens and Yifei Ye, teamed with Silver-ranked German driver David Beckmann, who competed in F2 last year.

As always, the category attracts several high-profile names including former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kyvat who is entered with Prema Racing alongside French female driver, Doriane Pin. Another former F1 star, Robert Kubica, has been named to drive for Team WRT — the Belgian squad that won the LMP2 title in 2021 — which is returning with a two-car entry for 2023.

Alpine Elf Team steps back to LMP2, after its top-class program last year with a grandfathered LMP1 car that is now no longer eligible to compete. It is using this two-car effort as part of its preparations for its 2023 Hypercar campaign.

British squad United Autosports will field two of the championship’s youngest drivers with 17-year-old Josh Pierson as the only home driver at Sebring from the LMP2 lineup, and WEC debutant — 18-year-old Frederick Lubin. They will be joined at United Autosports by experienced endurance drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Phil Hanson. Other LMP2 entries include Italian powerhouse Prema Racing, British outfit Vector Sport, and Polish squad Inter Europol Competition.

At Vector Sport, which in the background is working with Isotta Fraschini’s Hypercar program, Ryan Cullen, Matthias Kaiser and Gabriel Aubry are now confirmed as drivers.

And in the LMGTE Am class — now the sole GT class in the championship after GTE Pro finished its final season in 2022 — multiple new lineups have been confirmed, with Proton Competition, Dempsey Proton Racing and GR Racing, finalizing their trios.

Of the notable names, Ryan Hardwick is set to be present in the No. 88 Proton Porsche until at least the Le Mans 24 Hours, where he will take up his auto-invite via IMSA. He is joined by the mercurial Harry Tincknell and Zach Robichon. The 2021 IMSA GTD champion, Robichon continues with Proton after a 2022 season spent in the ELMS (and at Le Mans) in the lineup that featured Michael Fassbender.

In the 14-car Am field there is now just one TBA, that is the final driver for the No. 98 Northwest AMR Aston Martin. Currently just Paul Dalla Lana and Nicki Thiim are confirmed.

The WEC action begins with the Prologue pre-season test event at Sebring from March 11-12.

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