The FIA WEC’s junior Prototype class has seen transition from open cars to coupes, and in 2017 to an altogether more rapid breed of LMP2.
The 50 races thus far have seen a dozen teams take race-winning honours, has seen reputations made and secured and brought Pro-Am prototype racing back onto the world stage.
The inaugural FIA WEC season in 2012 saw Peter Baron’s Starworks take the crown with a HPD. There was no driver’s title in the first season.
Then in 2013, OAK Racing took the crown in a Morgan Nissan, the #35 crew of Bertrand Baguette, Martin Plowman and Ricardo Gonzalez took the first drivers’ title.
2014 saw a poor turnout, just four cars for the full season, and a freak result as Sergey Zlobin and SMP Racing with its Oreca 03 Nissan took the titles. That year, the Russian created a huge championship lead after Le Mans courtesy of the #27 car being the only full-season WEC car to make it home; though the car finishing 12th in the class and 37th overall, still enough though to take away 50 points.
2015 saw G-Drive take the title with its Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal joined for the season by standout talent Sam Bird.
2016 saw a fifth consecutive new title winner, Signatech Alpine and its Oreca 05-based Alpine A460 Nissan. Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi took the drivers title, Menezes becoming the first American to win an FIA title for some 35 years in the process. It was also Lapierre’s first WEC title; the Frenchman missed out on the 2014 FIA LMP1 World Championship despite driving the winning car, after being forced to skip four rounds during the season.
2017 saw a stunning points chase with the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing crew take a convincing Championship lead only to see their advantage clawed back over the second half of the season by a storming run from the #31 Vaillante Rebellion squad – it came down to a 10 second gap in the final race for the #31 crew to claim the title!
Every title winner has raced with Dunlop rubber and though not with the same engine. HPD has a title, before Nissan-engined cars dominated from 2013 to 2016.
Beyond the title holders there have been race wins for a slew of other outfits, including ADR Delta, Pecom Racing, KCMG, RGR Sport, Jackie Chan DC Racing and TDS Racing (running as G-Drive in 2017)
Roman Rusinov has a record 16 LMP2 race wins (way ahead of Julien Canal on 10), G-Drive have taken race wins every year since 2013 and has an identical record to Rusinov, the same 16 wins a record there too.
In addition to Sam Bird’s head-turning performances at G-Drive, Mike Conway’s standout performances for Delta ADR in 2013 led directly to the Englishman’s chance with Toyota in LMP1
ORECA chassis meanwhile, have taken 32 class wins (six of them the Alpine-badged varients), Ligier is second in that ranking, with eight.
The WEC has been graced by a healthy variety of chassis though, before the switch to 2017 regulations where the championship found itself with an all ORECA full season entry. Alpine, BR Engineering, Dome, Gibson, HPD, Lola, Lotus (below), Ligier, Morgan, ORECA (03,03-R, 05 and 07) and Zytek chassis have been involved with full-season entries, as have Nissan, HPD, Judd and Gibson engines.
Since 2012 HPD, Morgan, Ligier, Gibson and Zytek and Oreca (and Alpine) chassis have all taken class wins.
And finally, a total of 19 different teams have been involved in full-season efforts in the first six years of the WEC.