The 2017 WEC season will be remembered for great competition on track, thanks to some outstanding performances from its competitors, notably at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also for being the end of an era with the announcement from Porsche mid-season that it would be withdrawing from the LMP1 hybrid class. But, as one era comes to a close another dawns, and the end of the sixth season not only brought championship celebrations for Porsche, Ferrari, Rebellion and Aston Martin, but also great optimism and confidence for the future of the WEC.
The WEC continued to grow in stature on the world motorsport stage, thanks to the quality and performances of its competitors plus the stability of its calendar and FIA/ACO combined regulatory body. Mexico City made a successful debut as host of the 6 Hours of Mexico, and spectator numbers continued to rise at venues across the globe, but for many the 2016 season will be remembered with some sentimentality, with heartbreak for some and fond farewells to others
2015 was undoubtedly the finest WEC season to date, the year it truly came of age. The closeness of competition throughout the classes underlined the true spirit of endurance racing and connected with fans, new and old, the world over.
Porsche won the World Championship comprehensively, with six victories including a superb 1-2 at Le Mans and the top step at the inaugural 6 Hours of Nürburgring on home soil. The German marque also claimed its first World GT Manufacturers’ crown after an incredibly close battle with Ferrari.
The third season of the World Endurance Championship witnessed Porsche’s return to top level endurance racing for the first time in 16 years and Audi’s 13th win in the last 15 years at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The year, however, belonged to Toyota Racing – the Japanese team joyfully winning the Manufacturers World Championship at the final round of the season. Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi lifted the 2014 Drivers’ title after taking their No.8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid to the top step of the podium on four occasions, with their team mates in the No.7 entry also winning in Bahrain
The second season of the FIA World Endurance Championship proved to be an even bigger success than 2012 with more cars and seven of the championships not being settled until the last round in Bahrain.
Audi once again proved to be the benchmark for the rest of the grid, the German manufacturer securing a second world title. This year it was the drivers of the No.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval, who became the FIA World Endurance Drivers Champions after a fantastic season that saw them lift the 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy and also the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy at the start of the season at Silverstone.
When the 30 FIA World Endurance Championship cars took to the historic Sebring track in Florida in March 2012, it signalled the dawning of a new era in international sportscar racing.
Sanctioned by the FIA, manufacturers, teams and drivers were now able to truly fight for World Championships and the level of entries reflected this fact. Racing together with entrants from the American Le Mans Series for this season-opener, an incredible 64 cars raced flat out for 12 hours, with Audi, Starworks, AF Corse and Team Felbermayr becoming the first race winners of the new WEC.