World Endurance Championship: Updates for the 2024 Season

February 1, 2024Ramon Jones

The 2024 World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be a packed grid with 19 Hypercar entries, 18 LMGT3 cars. Overall 14 manufacturers have committed to a full year campaign. The WEC will undergo some changes for the 2024 season and welcomes many new teams to the competition. One of the most notable changes is the increase in entries for the Hypercars class. There will be 6 additional cars on the grid for 2024 with Alpine, BMW, Isotta Fraschini and Lamborghini joining the existing teams Cadillac, Ferrari, Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota. The increase in grid size will make for better, more competitive racing.

Ushering in the LM GT3 Class

With the sunsetting of the LMGTE class specifications last season. This year the new LMGT3 class will feature a variety of technical updates. WEC specifies a few changes such as torquemeters, possible small bodywork upgrade, luminescent number panels and leader light. The cars will be using Goodyear tires for the next three years after WEC signed a contract with Goodyear to replace Michelin as the tire supplier for the series. There are currently 18 entries for the LMGT3 class for 2024.

Venues Added and Changes to Qualifying

WEC has added two circuits to the 2024 schedule resulting in 8 races total. Lusail in Qatar and Imola in Italy have been added to the schedule. Two circuits, Interlagos in Brazil and Circuit of the Americas in the USA will rejoin the legendary races at Spa-Francorchamps, Bahrain, Fuji and Le Mans after a hiatus from the WEC schedule. The move to add a south American stop will mean the WEC will span Asia, Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East for the 2024 season.

Qualifying Changes

The changes to qualifying will result in two separate qualifying sessions for both Hypercar and LMGT3 classes. Each class will participate in a 12 minute qualifying session followed by a 10-minute-long Hyperpole. The top finisher in Hyperpole will decide the pole position. Previously each class featured a single, 15-minute qualifying. The change extends to all races what WEC already did with the Hyperpole format reserved for the 24 Hours of Le Mans . The change should make qualifying more competitive and possibly shake up the top 10 starting grid for each class.

Introduction of the VSC to WEC

The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) is a feature used by the FIA in Formula One to mitigate on track risks that do not require a full safety car or red flag. WEC will add a VSC component to its races in 2024. The details were provided by WEC below

“The Race Director may declare a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) if deemed necessary.  Each VSC period will be systematically followed by a Safety Car procedure.

The VSC is a tool intended to secure interventions around the track in the event of an accident and can be used for an approximate duration of two laps before deployment of the Safety Car (SC).

Once VSC is displayed on the monitors, the cars must slow down to 80kph, in a single line, and maintain the distance that separates them from the car in front and the one behind. Access to the pit lane will remain open for the duration of the VSC. When the Race Director deems it appropriate, he will terminate the VSC procedure by deploying the SC procedure.”

The changes for 2024 don’t seem too drastic and should all improve the flow of the race weekend. We should also see improved competition for pole position in qualifying and potentially podiums. The 2024 season kicks off in 28 days for the Qatar 1812 km.