The provisional entry list for the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday 28th October has been released with 28 cars entered for the season finale of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. All eyes will be on the battle between the two Audi R18s as to which of the two driver crews will be crowned as the inaugural FIA World Endurance Driver Champions.
Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer hold a 16.5 point advantage over their teammates Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish and the winners of the 2012 24 Heures du Mans will be looking for a podium finish to finish their season as World Champions.
The nr7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories this season following wins in Brazil and last time out in Japan. After missing the first two races of the year the Toyota duo cannot win the world crown but they have shown that the car is capable of taking the fight to Audi and the potential for glory in 2013 is very evident.
Chinese fans will have a Chinese driver on the grid as A1 GP star Congfu Cheng joins LMP1 Privateer Champions Rebellion Racing, with the Swiss team travelling to China on a high note after Nicolas Prost, Neel Jani and Andrea Belicchi took the overall victory at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, USA, last week end. Cheng’s inclusion in the nr13 Lola-Toyota line up will give the team at lot of attention in Shanghai.
The Starworks Motorsports team also travel to Shanghai on a high note after securing the LMP2 team crown in Japan two weeks ago. Enzo Potolicchio, Stephane Sarrazin and Ryan Dalziel will be looking to add to their LMP2 class wins at Sebring and at Le Mans and finish their successful year on a high. However they will face stiff opposition from several quarters including the nr 25 ADR-Delta Oreca Nissan of John Martin and Tor Graves, who took the win at Fuji and will be joined in China by Switzerland’s Matthias Beche.
A total of 18 Le Mans Prototypes will make the trip to Shanghai with 8 LMP1 and 10 LMP2 entries due to take the start on Sunday 28 October.
In LMGTE Pro four cars will compete for GTE honours at the 6 Hours of Shanghai. As they have all season, the GTE Pro class is still expected to provide some of the best racing action during the six hour race with the two AF Corse Ferraris taking on the nr77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche and the nr97 Aston Martin Vantage. The team and Manufacturers World Cup titles have already been decided in favour of AF Corse and Ferrari, so it will be an all out fight for victory in China. After wins at Le Mans, Silverstone, Sao Paulo and Bahrain the nr51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella was beaten to the finish line in Japan by the Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb. The question is can Porsche beat Ferrari again or will Aston Martin take their first win of the year?
In LMGTE Am six entries will fight for class honours with two Ferraris taking on two Porsches and two Corvettes. The FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Teams is still up for grabs with Larbre Competition still holding the upperhand going into the final race of the year with a 20 point advantage over Team Felbermayr-Proton. This battle will be a straight fight between the mighty Corvette and the nimble Porsche.
The cars will be on track at 10:35 tomorrow morning (03:35 BST / 04:35 CET) for the first 90-minute Free Practice session of the weekend.