WEC to Consider Introducing GTE Pro Qualifying Races


FIA WEC Nurburgring 2016 - Credit: Young Driver AMR
Credit: Young Driver AMR

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is considering the introduction of a qualifying race for GTE Pro cars in a bid to raise the profile of the class for the 2018 season.

The proposal is part of discussions of increasing the profile of the GTE Pro class following the granting of full FIA World Championship status for the overall GT classification for this season.

WEC boss Gerard Neveu revealed that a sprint race, most likely of a 60-minute duration, the day before the main event at WEC’s six-hour rounds was one of the ideas on the table.

“We are thinking about the idea for a sprint race for GTE on Saturday and believe it could be quite interesting, but it is just an idea at the moment and we have to follow FIA processes,” he told Autosport.

“There are many questions, like how many drivers would take part and how we would award points. There are no clear answers and we will talk about it over this season as we go through the proper processes.”

The idea has been warmly received by the manufacturers competing in GTE Pro, Ferrari, Porsche, Ford and Aston Martin.

Frank-Steffen Walliser, the Porsche Motorsport vice-president in charge of GT racing, said: “Anything that makes the weekend more fun and more interesting for the fans is welcome. 

“We are open to the idea, but it is something that needs to be discussed.”

Walliser also suggested that the idea of sprint races could be part of a wider discussion about the championship.

“We have to remember that the WEC is not just about one 24-hour race at Le Mans,” he said. “We’ve got to make it attractive.

“There are many things to discuss, like double points at Le Mans, yes or no?”