Thirty Seven Car Spa Entry List Released

The first provisional entry list for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the 5th May has been released with 37 cars entered for the traditional final event before the 24 Heures du Mans in June. Spa will also see the inaugural race for several new cars, including the two LMP1 hybrid entries from Audi and Toyota.

Audi Sport Team Joest will field two Audi R18 e-tron quattros for Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler in the nr1 car and 12 Hours of Sebring winners Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello in the nr2 Audi hybrid. Two further R18 Ultras will be at the event, one run by Team Joest and the other by Audi Sport North America.

The Toyota Racing TS030 will be taking on the mighty Audis in the Ardennes, with Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima sharing the driving duties.

The Pescarolo Team will be fielding a second car in Spa with Sébastien Bourdais and Nicolas Minassian driving the brand new Dome S102.5-Judd alongside the teams LMP1 Sebring podium finishing Pescarolo Judd driven by Emmanuel Collard, Julien Jousse and Jean-Christophe Boullion.

In LMP2 the Starworks Motorsport line up remains unchanged from Sebring where Enzo Potolicchio, Ryan Dalziel and Stephane Sarrazin finished 3rd overall and 1st in class. Three extra LMP2 cars are added to the grid with Signatech Nissan, Oak Racing and Lotus all fielding a second car at Spa.

A total of 12 LMP1 and 12 LMP2 class cars are due to take the start of the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

In LMGTE Pro the five teams that competed in Florida are set to renew the exciting battles from Sebring while the GTE Am teams are joined by the JMB Racing Ferrari 458, with Manuel Rodrigues announced as the lead driver, making a total of 5 LMGTE Pro and 8 LMGTE Am Class cars on the grid for the 6-hour race in Belgium.

“We are very happy to announce 37 cars for Spa and this is an excellent entry list for the second race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship and the last big test before the 24 Heures du Mans,” said FIA WEC CEO Gérard Neveu. “We have the added bonus of seeing the first race for the new hybrid cars from Audi and Toyota, which represent a significant step forward in the future technology we will see in endurance racing in the coming years and we also welcome Dome back to LMP1 with Pescarolo.

“Sebring was an excellent first event for the FIA WEC and now we have a solid foundation to continue the building process for the FIA’s newest world championship. Spa-Francorchamps is the next step for us and we know we can provide the teams, drivers and the fans with an event they will remember.”

16 Comments on Thirty Seven Car Spa Entry List Released

  1. Spa can’t come fast enough, then another month and a half, Le Mans 24 hours. Lets hope Audi’s first race with the ‘e-tron quattro’ demolishes its non-hybrid Audi’s and the new hybrid Toyoya! Its sad the BM M3 GTE-Pro won’t be racing this year! Although, I’m sure tehe-tron quattro will be reliable, but just how reliable with it be under pure performance and speed at Le Mans!
    Go Audi R18 TDI e-tron Quattro!!!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the Toyota, looked and sounded great in testing. Hope it has the pace and reliability to give Audi a run for its money, its certainly got the driver line up. Interesting to see how the mothballed dome goes as well

  3. @Schellz there’s still talk Spa and Silverstone will be ELMS rounds, I guess such things will be sorted after consulting teams at Paul Ricard.

    Looking forward to seeing the Toyota, but intrigued to see what Pescarolo produce, could be their first step to becoming a constructor and selling cars to customers, they’re also looking to impress manufactuers. Re. the Dome, I always understood the car had undergone regular updates, and it’s unknown how much running the car had in Japan, possibly as part of Toyota evaluation. Certainly updating the car to wide fronts suggests they aren’t rolling out an elderly chassis with the minimum updates necessary.

  4. As I read it from the Dome/Pescarolo release they are almost making a brand new chassis up from the old Dome. Pescarolo already design chassis so they are a constructor, the one thing that gets me is how come there aren’t any ALMS P1 teams buying a Pescarolo or OAK chassis?

  5. Conquest’s deal is not only to run the P2 OAK in the ALMS but also to be the distributor, US teams needs easy access to parts etc. which is why Lola, Porsche etc. are so popular.

    Re. Pescarolo they where a constructor but the chassis rights were purchased by OAK, the new Pescarolo 03 will be a fresh start.

  6. @Michael Almaguer and JAG:
    Yes, the original Pescarolo constructor business has gone over to OAK. Pescarolo started new as a team only in 2011, at first using an old Pescarolo chassis, and now cooperates with Dome plus bought the 2011 AMR-One chassis, combining it with the Judd engine after the engine was the AMR-One’s major problem in 2011.
    And @SchellZ:
    Unlike 2011 when the ILMC rounds were also part of ELMS, WEC and ELMS are completely different series with different timetables. No WEC round is part of ELMS. Only LMP2 teams with very solid budgets (e.g. OAK) can run both series this way.

  7. kw
    Yeah, I knew that, but I remember an official from the ACO or ELMS or whatever saying “Expect a lot of ELMS entrants at Spa and Silverstone, and I love inter-series battles.

    JAG
    Where did you here about these “talks”?

  8. @SchellZ:
    For an ELMS team it can truly make sense to sign in for Spa if they are also on the 24h Le Mans entry list – in this case it’s a good dress rehearsal. But as mentioned this is strongly dependent on the available budget, and most of the LMP2 teams are not so well-funded. And for the ACO statements – optimism is always better than pessimism…

  9. @SchellZ mentioned in Autosport last week and confirmed elsewhere the ELMS calender could be switched. Donington confirmed today (signed contract), not read anything about other rounds.

    The WEC and ELMS need to settle before they’re judged as both series are effectively all new. The WEC’s season long entry was capped at 30 for logistical reasons, with scope to expand by 5-10 cars next year, they also need to make a decision on Sebring and the NA round.

    The ELMS is in a difficult position between the WEC and GT3 series, I back the decision to install P2 as headliners and wouldn’t be suprised to see 15-20 cars in 2013, the GT field needs addressing but that isn’t an ELMS only weakness, they’re just the first to show signs.

    A great point was made on Radio Le Mans’ ELMS preview, many of the teams are in the series to prove themselves to sponsors/manufactuers, JOTA, Loeb, TDS etc. are capable of stepping up to the highest level, and that’s what the series needs to be, a stepping stone for top teams, their place being filled by the next generation.

  10. kw
    Yeah, makes sense, no point wasting money when the coverage is so bad, no-one will see their sponsors.

    JAG
    Donnintgton was on the calendar from the beginning and its not a WEC round. No mention of this on the Autosport website, ELMS website or Le Mans.org

    Do you have a link?

  11. ELMS by and large has been the weaker of the two “national” series and we ALL know that. Expecting this series which gets poor media coverage overall to automagically become “great” and rival what SRO is doing makes no sense at all.

    If anything SRO should get it down to about two series and be happy. Let the other pan nationals (GT Open) handle regional action.

    GT3 is easing its way into all forms of GT racing and I only think its a matter of time before the GT2’s are dumb down to the GT3 level or GT3 cars are sped up (mostly around weight and tire size) or GT3 is made the defacto GT car of choice.

    By the time WEC revs back up, I think the ALMS runs two races, Blancpain and FIA GT all start up (starting next weekend)

  12. ELMS isn’t an ALMS equivalent, more so in it’s current form, today it’s positioning itself similar to GP2 is to F1, i.e quality teams/drivers using it as a step on the ladder to the WEC.

    By doing that quality is maintained, new blood comes into the sport, and the series gains an appeal of it’s own, even today’s shaky start has live TV and online coverage, plus Nissan are supporting DSC to provide free coverage.

    I’m not sure I understand SRO’s game plan, Blancpain could be a new BPR GT but recieves less coverage than the ELMS, SRO put a lot of effort into promoting GT1, but the sprint format is up against DTM, WTCC, BTCC etc., there’s also FIA GT3 and national series with similar products.

    I really like GT3’s, the latest Z4 and R8 look like full-fat GT1’s, but that’s the problem for ACO series, with no regs outside those for safety, the cars are getting ever more radical and costly, but they’re entirely reliant on BoP to determine pace, you can imagine the arguments if one particular car like the powerful SLS is particularly suited to Le Mans, the rest of the teams would cry foul.

    I think the ACO will stick with GTE, but make a distinct difference between Pro and Am, the Pro cars being allowed more tech like hybrids, while Am is still based around the same chassis, but cost-capped with reduced technology.

  13. JAG

    Thanks. While I like the idead of 2 series running the same race, it doesn’t reflect well on the ELMS that they can’t even have their own races. The ACO needs to do something if they don’t want it to fall into irelivence like the ALMS has been on the verge of doing for several years now. Spa always was the LMS’ signature event, and it can’t be good for the series to have lost it.

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