WEC, Le Mans GTE Pro class gets car-count ultimatum for 2023

WEC, Le Mans GTE Pro class gets car-count ultimatum for 2023

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Pierre Fillon, president of WEC promoter and Le Mans organiser Automobile Club l’Ouest, outlined these as the minimum entry requirements in what will be the last year of the GTE rules ahead of a switch to GT3 for 2024.

“We need at least two brands, and a minimum of four cars from the two brands,” confirmed Fillon.

A last hurrah for GTE Pro has been put in doubt for ’23 because class stalwarts Ferrari and Porsche have expressed an intent to focus resources in the WEC on their respective Le Mans Hypercar and LMDh prototype programmes from next year.

That would leave GTE Pro to Chevrolet, which is undertaking a full season in the WEC for the first time this season with a solo Corvette C8.R, and any privateers looking to step up to the top GT class.

Chevrolet has so far refused to outline its plans for ’23 as it gears up to bring a new GT3 machine on stream the year after.

Le Mans has attracted privateer entries in GTE Pro for the past two years, as well as this season.

WeatherTech Racing ran in the Pro class in 2020 with a Ferrari and last year with Porsche, when it was joined by a second customer example of the German manufacturer’s 911 RSR-19 run by Taiwanese entrant HubAuto Racing.

#51 Af Corse Ferrari 488 Gte Evo Lmgte Pro, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Come Ledogar

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Come Ledogar

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

This year, Riley Motorsports is fielding a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo for Sam Bird, Shane van Gisbergen and Felipe Fraga.

All-professional GT driver line-ups will disappear from the WEC and Le Mans after 2023 on the introduction of new rules.

Fillon reiterated the ACO’s intent to allow only Pro-Am crews from the start of the new era at the Sebring 2022 WEC season-opener this week.

The switch to the GT3 rulebook for 2024 was announced at Le Mans last August, though the official line was that the new GT class would be “based on GT3”. Clarification of what that will means was delayed from the end of last year and will now be announced at Le Mans this June.

It is expected that the WEC will adopt the GT3 rule book with little or no modification at the behest of the manufacturers involved in the class.

They resisted the DTM’s attempts to come up with what was described in some circles as “GT3-plus” on the adoption of the class for last season.

Watch WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring qualifying and the race live on Motorsport.tv (geo-restrictions may apply).

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