FIA WEC Spa: What to Expect

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The 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship heads to the Ardennes this weekend for the second round of the championship at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The race, which is considered to be a dress rehearsal for Le Mans, will see the teams bring in low down force packages for the race, with both Toyota and Audi confirming that they will be running long-tailed versions of the TS040 and R18 e-tron Quattro respectively, with Porsche still to confirm what configuration their 919 Hybrid’s will run in. The field will grow by one for the race, with Audi running a third car for Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi In preparation for Le Mans.

Away from the LMP1-H runners we get to LMP1-L, which will feature for the first time the brand new Rebellion R1, with the Swiss team finally retiring their old Lola B12/60’s after finishing fifth and sixth at the Six hours of Silverstone. But, once again, we will not see the Lotus T129, with any images yet to be revealed of the car.

In LMP2 the field is once again down on entries, with Millennium-ADR once again not in attendance for the second race running. However, the entry is up one from Silverstone, with ELMS runners JOTA Sport stepping up as they prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. Driving for JOTA will be regulars Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell, with the Englishmen being joined by Spaniard Marc Gené, who replaces Albuquerque for Spa and Le Mans. As normal the field is completed by SMP Racing and KCMG with three Oreca 03-Nissan’s and the Silverstone-winning Morgan-Nissan of  G-Drive Racing.

LMGTE-Pro is also down an entry, with RAM Racing withdrawing due to budget issues, leaving two AF Corse Ferrari 458’s, two Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR’s and two Aston Martin Vantage’s in the class. In LMGTE Am the entry list also missing one car, the second RAM Ferrari, with seven cars set to run in the race.

The timetable for this weekend is in a different format from Silverstone, with Free Practice 1 and 2 and Qualifying taking place on Friday (0900, 1415, 1920 Local starts respectively), with the race starting at 1430 Local on Saturday, lasting until 2030 Local.

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