The FIA WEC (World Endurance Championship) is an auto racing world championship organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The series usurps the ACO's former “Intercontinental Le Mans Cup” which began in 2010, and is the first endurance series of world championship status since the demise of the “World Sportscar Championship” at the end of 1992. The “World Endurance Championship” name was already used by the FIA from 1981 to 1985.
The series feature multiple classes of cars competing in endurance races, with sports prototypes competing in the Le Mans Prototype categories (LM-P1, Hybrid and not, and LM-P2), and production-based grand tourers competing in the LM GTE (PRO and AM) categories. Five titles are offered to drivers in the 2016 season. The World Championship is reserved for LMP1 and LMP2 drivers while the World Cup for GT Drivers is available for drivers in the LMGTE categories. Further, three FIA Endurance Trophies were also awarded to drivers in the LMP2 and LMGTE Am categories as well as privateers in the LMP1 category.
The World Endurance Championship follows much of the format of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and features this year nine endurance races across the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with all races being at least six hours in duration. For 2016 season the calendar includes one official pre-championship test days in Paul Ricard circuit (Prologue of Le Castellet), four races in Europe (6h of Silverstone, 6h of Spa Francorchamps, 24h Le Mans and 6h of Nürburgring), two in the Americas (6h of Mexico and 6h of Circuit of the Americas), two in Asia (6h of Fuji and 6h of Shanghai) and one in the Middle East (6h of Bahrain).
For this season we have already been in 25/26 March in Le Castellet for official pre-championship test days, there was possible to have preview of all teams and new cars where after 2 days of hard test the final results were in LM-P1 class best time for the Porche Team with Porsche 919 Hybrid n°1 (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) followed by the Porsche Team with Porsche 919 Hybrid n°2 (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) and Toyota Gazoo Racing with Toyota TS050 Hybrid n°5 (Sarrazin/Conway/Kobayashi), in LM-P2 class best time for the Signatech Alpine with Alpine A460 – Nissan n°36 (Menezes/Lapierre/Richelmi) followed by the Strakka Racing with Gibson 015S - Nissan n°42 (Leventis/Watts/Kane) and G-Drive Racing with Oreca 05 Nissan n°26 (Rusinov/Berthon/Rast), in LM GTE-PRO class best time for the AF Corse with Ferrari 488 GTE n°51 (Bruni/Calado) followed by the AF Corse with Ferrari 488 GTE n°71 (Rigon/Bird) and Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK with Ford GT n°66 (Johnson/Mücke/Pla), in LM GTE-AM class best time for the Larbre Competition with Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 n°50 (Yamagishi/Ragues/Ruberti) followed by the Gulf Racing with Porsche 911 RSR n°86 (Wainwright/Carroll/Barker) and AF Corse with Ferrari F458 Italia n°83 (Perrodo/Collard/Aguas).
The following photos were taken during the official prologue test pre-championship, which was held at the famous circuit Paul Ricard on 25-26 March 2016.
Official Website: http://www.fiawec.com/