WEC to Introduce New Qualifying Format

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#97 Aston Martin Racing on track down the main straight at Shanghai International Circuit
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

Moving from the two lap / two driver aggerated time to decide the starting grid of FIA World Endurance Championship races, the endurance series is moving to a single lap / single driver system.

Since 2013, WEC has used the two-lap qualifying system, where two drivers in every team set a lap time and the starting grid is determined by aggregating those lap times. In the first year of the championship, the aggregation was taken from four laps – two laps set by each driver. However, the start of the 2021 season will see a move to a simpler system where only one driver will have to set a lap time to determine the grid.

The new format will see the qualifying session lengths shortened to ten minutes, with the GTE (Am and Pro) cars on track for the first session and then the LMP2 and new Hypercar classes in the second. There is no restriction on which driver in a team can set the qualifying lap aside from the LM GTE Am class where the bronze driver in the team will have to set the lap time.

This qualifying system will be in place for all WEC rounds in 2021, excluding the 24 Hours of Le Mans which will, once again, run the Hyperpole system that was used successfully in the 2020 rendition of the race.

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