May 18, 2024

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The best World Cup of the century begins with a 10-hour marathon in Qatar

The best World Cup of the century begins with a 10-hour marathon in Qatar

AndThis weekend starts at The State of Qatar The most controversial edition of the century Endurance World Cup. nothing less than 19 Queen class prototypes They will compete for the Toyota title… but there will be up to 23 people competing for the crown jewel of the championship: 24 Hours of Le Mans. But that's not all, because it's nothing less than that 14 factories They will put their cars on the track in the two main categories: LM Hypercar And LM GT3 (LMP2 disappears only within 24 hours).

Brands…and a Pilot team Print, with popular newcomers such as Mick Schumacher Or the stars who will now be more champions like Kubica, Kvyat also button, who will now have weapons to fight for absolute victories. At Le Mans other stars will score, such as Romain Grosjean Or we have Alex Ballou To complete the impression grid alongside the great resistance classics.

Toyota and the GR010 #8 are the two competitors to beat.

Toyota defends both titlesDrivers and brands, before a Greater competition Which no factory has measured in the 21st century. The Japanese will have to overcome Ferrari, Peugeot, Cadillac, Porsche, Lamborghini, BMW, Alps…and loyal GT. The battle will be more or less fierce, with strong brands such as Corvette, Lexus, McLarenPorsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW… and even strongholdwho will line up in his stunning Mustang.

A difficult start in Qatar

The starting signal will sound on Saturday in Lusail with It is 1,812 kilometers away from Qatarnew in the calendar and the first Flame retardant For all teams… especially for new ones that will suddenly be measured in… Appointment 10 hours (the longest after Le Mans) and with Incorrectly high temperatures This time of year in Europe.

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theoretically, The reference must be Toyotawho has dominated the major in the past five years but will face A Performance balance (The system that equates performance between different types of prototypes) is harder than last year: with more weight and less power than at Le Mans. in it introduction (Name of pre-season testing) was a long way from Porsche's time… but We'll have the real references on Friday In the qualifying course.

BMW and Alpine are among the three new companies, along with Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini.

the only Change in driver list From the Japanese it is The passing of Pichito Lopez (who will race for Lexus in the LM GT3) in seventh place, whose lineup will now consist of Kamui Kobayashi (driver and team principal), Mike Conway and former Formula 1 driver. Nick DeVries. No. 8, the current winner, still belongs to Brendon Hartley, Sebastian Buemi And Ryo Hirakawa.

Ferrari It will be great A candidate to break Toyota's dominance That's why it was reinforced with The third car (With Kubica in the foreground)…but the one who looks at his best according to what we saw in the winter is him Porsche (the brand with the most victories at Le Mans), which will have no less than Five 963 Ready to honor the brand's history at Resistencia. And We'll have to be very attentive to Cadillacwhich really surprised last year and smells good for 2024. And finally, Peugeot will start again with a changed foot Because in Qatar he will race the famous wingless 9X8 car… before his debut A new car, now with a more traditional aerodynamic configurationMaybe in Imola.

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Among the new ones, BMW It is the brand that arrives with the most experience after a year in the American IMSA V8 Hybrid M (Which we will see one day Valentino Rossi, which will lead the German brand in the “small” category). And the unknown will be Alpswho returns to the queen category this time with his own car (and with Mick Schumacher As a media star, we will see if he is also a sports star) and LamborghiniWhich will have only one prototype in this first year among the greats of the resistance. Humble Isotta Fraschini will put Strange note On the Hypercar grill.

Valentino Rossi makes his World Championship debut for BMW in the LM GT3 class.

the Second category From WEC, the new LM GT3, will likely provide a tougher fight than in recent years… but without quite the brilliance of the professional teams of the past. now Lineups must have an amateur driver…but in exchange for the number and Brand prestige Impressive concerned. And without disrespecting the team of drivers with names like Alessio Rovira and David Reagon in ferrari, Farfus And Jalil at BMW, Sorensen In Aston Martin or Letz In Porsche… or Iron ladies (Gatting, Buffy and Benn), who will drive Lamborghini cars this year.

Spain, very well represented

the Spanish ambitions They are the maximum. Both in the queen category, with Michael Molina At the head of the No. 50 Ferrari, the third car last year after the two Toyota cars, and Danny Juncadella (Corvette) and Alex Ripras (Aston Martin) in the LM GT3, and both have serious options for victory, although the forces in this category, with new cars, are present. Not yet determined.

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Daniel Juncadella makes his debut for the legendary Corvette team, a perennial favorite in the World Endurance Championship.

next to, Three reinforcements would join Le Mans additional: Alex Ballou In the LM Hypercar he is registered in the No. 2 Cadillac that will defend the colors of the American manufacturer during the entire World Championship (with Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn as well as a third rotation driver in the long races, which in Qatar will be Sebastien Bourdais) and Albert Costa (current champion) and Lorenzo Floxa In LMP2.

Schedules and places to watch on TV

the It is 1,812 kilometers away from Qatar They will object to this Saturday starting at 9:00 am. It is expected to be 10 hours long. before FridayClassification and Hyperpolarity (In the first session, 10 cars will be eliminated from each category and will compete for first place.)

Qatar begins hostilities with a tough 10-hour race.

The opening race of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be broadcast in full on Eurosport. It can also be seen through flow Tournament officialalthough in this case as a payment option.