Strong Grid Expected For 6 Hours of Silverstone

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After starting at Silverstone the WEC pack races into the famous Spa track (Photo Credit: Jean Michel le Meur/DPPI)

Thirty-one cars will contest the season-opener of the FIA World Endurance Championship – The 6 Hours of Silverstone.

The race will also see the first real test for Porsche‘s new 919 Hybrid, as it looks to challenge the reigning champions Audi and race winners Toyota, who will both bring their new hybrid challengers to the Northamptonshire circuit.

The LMP1-H class will feature six cars, with eighteen of the top drivers in the world behind the wheel, including Lucas di Grassi, who steps in to the #1 Audi alongside reigning champions Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen. Home fans will also be able to cheer on Anthony Davidson in one of the Toyotas and UK-based Mark Webber, who makes his WEC debut for Porsche after leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2013.

Rebellion Racing will start the season in their 2013 machine, as the new R-One still undergoes testing ahead of its race debut. Meanwhile Lotus are expected to bring their new T129-AER to complete the two-car LMP1-L category.

No fewer than seven Britons will compete in the LMP2 category, including the all-British lineup of Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane driving for 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP1 Privateer winners, Strakka Racing. Oliver Turvey and Mike Conway will compete in Millennium Racing‘s #22 and #23 machines respectively, while Matthew Howson and Richard Bradley complete the british contingient in the Hong Kong-based KCMG car.

Driver line ups are still to be confirmed in the LMGTE Pro category, with many teams expected to announce their teams after The Prologue at Paul Ricard. However, Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke are already expected to return in the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8, with Alex MacDowell joining the squad in the #99 car for the British round. Reigning champion Gianmaria Bruni will also return in the #51 Ferrari 458.

Finally, LMGTE Am rounds out the lineup boasting the largest number of entries, with eight teams set to start the six hour race. British-based Ram Racing will compete with two British drivers, with reigning ELMS LMGTE Champion Johnny Mowlem joined by former ‘Stig’, Ben Collins.

Aston Martin Racing will once again field two cars in LMGTE Am, while three Ferrari 458s will line up to take the start, two from AF Corse and one from reigning champions, 8Star Motorsports. The final two entries will be made up of the Porsche 911s of Proton Competition and Prospeed Competition.

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Based in Mid-Wales, James joined TCF at the start of the 2013 season, covering a range of disciplines, predominantly Motorcycle Road Racing and NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @JCCharman
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