The 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship entry list is set to feature more than 30 cars, DSC understands. This grid has come together despite decisions from BMW and Ford to withdraw from the FIA WEC, and an effort from Multimatic to pull together a non-factory-backed Ford GTE Pro effort falling at something close to the final hurdle.
Paddock sources have confirmed that at least nine LMP1 entries have been submitted with two-car entries from Toyota Gazoo Racing, SMP Racing, Rebellion Racing and from a team fielding the Ginetta AER package, plus a single ByKolles entry.
LMP2 looks set to feature around eight entries for the full season. A two-car entry for a new team to sportscar racing have fallen short, but the field will still see mild growth with entries confirmed or expected from Jota Sport, Jackie Chan DC Racing, Signatech Alpine, TDS Racing, Larbre Competition, Cool Racing, Cetilar Racing and United Autosports.
GTE Pro is now going to feature just six full-season cars, down from 10 with the departure of BMW and Ford, with two-car efforts from Aston Martin Racing, AF Corse and Porsche Team.
Significant growth though looks set to come to GTE Am with both 2018/19 Aston Martin efforts set to return with new Vantage GTEs, the first WEC season when the new turbo-V8 powered car will be eligible in the Pro-Am class.
Porsche’s numbers look set to be swelled by a second full-season entry from Project 1, the team currently leading the Championship and committing their second 911 RSR to a full WEC programme.
Dempsey Proton Racing and Gulf Racing look set to return too, making a likely total of five 911 RSRs in the class.
The final Ferrari GTE Am line-up is yet to be confirmed but there will be significant changes in the ranks. DSC understands that 3-5 cars might be fielded for the full season, a mix of AF Corse customer teams and a likely Kessel Racing entry.
If accurate that totals a 10-12 car GTE Am field for the full season and a total entry for the 2019/20 Championship of 33-35 cars. An announcement is expected during Le Mans race week.
Add in too that there seems significant interest from a number of other teams in fielding race by race entries including G-Drive Racing, (Bahrain, (possibly Fuji) and Spa with its LMP2 Aurus 01, and the APM Monaco/ Proton Competition effort (Shanghai, GTE AM Porsche 911 RSR).
DSC believes that the door has been left open for each of the remaining GTE Pro manufacturers to enter a third car on a race by race basis too.
Other LMP2 teams are also expressing private interest in possible appearances in one-off races too.
Corvette Racing’s plans with their soon to be revealed C8.R GTE car are not yet known, a Sebring double-header for the team seems unlikely this early in the programme for a very new car!