The World Endurance Championship (WEC) once again had its first race of the year in the United States, more precisely in Sebring, where the 1000 km organized on the North American track were held. Among the Hypercars, the most powerful and fastest models, those that can aspire to victory, the curiosity this year is that Toyota Gazoo Racing, which won the last four drivers’ world championships, Peugeot Total Energies and Glickenhaus Racing, joined a team that apparently only counts to make numbers, the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team, as well as three important equipment in this discipline, Ferrari AF Corse, Cadillac Racing and Porsche Penske Motorsport.
After several practice sessions, qualifying for the first race of the year determined who was fastest under ideal conditions. And the cotton test favored the Ferrari 499P, a model that mounts an evolution of the V6 of the Ferrari 296 GTB series, associated with a hybrid solution in compliance with the regulations. In the hands of James Calado and Antonio Giovanazzi, the no. 281) of the #7 Toyota (1.45.548), leaving the #51 Ferrari in 4th position on the grid with 1.45.874.
499P. Ferrari returns to WEC and Le Mans with the V6 engine of the 296 GTB
After the four best cars in practice, respectively the Toyota and the Ferrari, the Cadillac (1,46,082) and the Porsche appear in 6th (147,193) and 7th (1,47,210). Peugeot followed him, in 8th (1,47,455) and 9th (1,48,205), followed by Glickenhaus (10th with 1,49,164) and Floyd (11th with 1,49,329).
The North American 1000 km race smiled on the Toyotas, as number 7 was crowned the winner after 239 laps, the same number of laps as the number 8 Toyota GR010, which took 2nd position. Behind the Japanese duo were rookie Ferrari (#50), Cadillac (#2) and both Porsches (#6 and 5), followed by Peugeot (#94 and 93). and the Floyd (4).
In addition to the Hypercar, the most powerful and fastest, the LMP2, the second fastest category, prototypes less powerful than the Hypercars and without resorting to hybrid technology, which ended up winning the Oreca 07 Gibson with number 48, immediately placing in front of the same Team United Autosports car (#22), driven by the likeable and fast Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque, in the company of Philip Hanson and Frederick Lubin.
But many times the cars that interest the public are the ones that most resemble the serial models, sold at the stands of the brands, which correspond to the LM GTE AM. Here the winner was the number 33 Chevrolet Corvete C8.R, which ran 221 laps, placing ahead of actor Patrick Dempsey’s Pronton Racing team car, followed by three Ferrari 488 GTE Evos and as many Aston Martins.