WEC – Champions All – The LMP1 Contenders

Car Collective - 2016 WEC - PROLOGUE at Paul Ricard - Le Castellet - France
Car Collective – 2016 WEC – PROLOGUE at Paul Ricard – Le Castellet – France

Two, Audi and Toyota, head into the fifth season of the WEC with completely new cars and new technology, while Porsche are not sitting on their laurels and have produced an evolution of their championship winning 919 hybrid.  All three know what it is to be world champions with Audi winning the title in 2012 and 2013, Toyota in 2014 and, of course, Porsche lifting the title in 2015 after a season long battle with Audi.

The relative pace of the three contenders was discovered at Silverstone with Audi finishing first on the road ahead of Porsche and Toyota.  However too much wear on the front skid block discovered in post race scrutineering meant exclusion from the results for Audi and promotion to the winners circle for Porsche.

The Porsche 919 hybrid is powered by the same 2.0 litre V4 turbo charged engine coupled to a lithium battery and the Stuttgart manufacturer has opted to remain in the 8 mega joule (MJ) class.  The driver line ups remain unchanged from 2015 with the car of World Driver Champions Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard proudly wearing the number 1.

Audi have a new car and the only things it has in common with the 2015 car is the same V6 Turbo diesel and the R18 name, everything else is new from the wheels up.  The 2016 Audi R18 (no etron quattro in the name this year) is using a lithium-ion battery system rather than the flywheel used in the previous generation of car.  Audi has also moved up to the 6MJ category.  Like Porsche, the driver line ups at Audi are unchanged with the two Audi R18s wearing the no7 and no8.

2014 champions Toyota had a disappointing year defending their hard won title and have retired the TS040 and returned with the all new TS050.  The normally aspirated V8 engine has been replaced with a twin turbo V6 and a lithium-ion battery has replaced the super capacitor.  Toyota has stepped up from the 6MJ to the 8MJ class and Kamui Kobayashi replaces Alex Wurz after the Austrian retired at the end of 2015.

The WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race that Audi and Porsche have won but Toyota hasn’t yet.  So expect the lessons learnt in England and in testing to be applied in Belgium as the teams prepare for the biggest motorsport event in the world.

Porsche Team – Porsche 919 hybrid
Engine 2.0 litre V4 Turbo
ERS Class 8 MJ
Power +900 hp
Transmission 7 gears
Fuel Tank 62.5 litres
Tyres Michelin
Weight 875kg
No1 Timo Bernhard Brendon Hartley Mark Webber
No2 Romain Dumas Neel Jani Marc Lieb
Audi Sport Team Joest -Audi R18
Engine 4.0 litre V6 TDI
ERS Class 6 MJ
Power +900 hp
Transmission 6 gears
Fuel Tank 49.9 litres
Tyres Michelin
Weight 875kg
No7 Marcel Fässler André Lotterer Benoît Tréluyer
No8 Lucas di Grassi Loïc Duval Oliver Jarvis
Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 Hybrid
Engine 2.4 litre V6 Turbo
ERS Class 8 MJ
Power +1000 hp
Transmission 7 gears
Fuel Tank 62.5 litres
Tyres Michelin
Weight 875kg
No5 Sébastien Buemi Anthony Davidson Kazuki Nakajima
No6 Mike Conway Kamui Kobayashi Stéphane Sarrazin

 

World Endurance Championship

WECEnduranceWEC 6 Hours of Spa-FrancorchampsSEASON 2016SportCircuit1SportWorld Endurance ChampionshipCircuitSEASON 2016WECEnduranceWEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps00Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – 9:12amWednesday, May 4, 2016 – 9:12am

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