A grid of 39 full-season entries has been announced for the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship. There are plenty of familiar faces as well as some new names to add to the mix.
Hypercar ranks boosted
The entry list features six cars in the top class, Hypercar, including reigning champions Toyota Gazoo Racing return with a pair of Toyota GR010 Hybrid. They will be joined by one car each from fellow 2021 contenders Glickenhaus and Alpine.
The biggest story of 2022 is the return of Peugeot to the endurance racing fold. The French manufacturer has committed to a two-car programme for the full season, although it is unclear when the team will make its debut. Peugeot has already confirmed that it will miss the first round of the season in Sebring.
The new Peugeot 9×8, unveiled in 2021 to much fanfare, was recently shown to the public while testing in Aragon. However, with the car design and concept homologated (or “locked in”) for the entire duration of the regulations until June 2025, there is much work to do before the car is ready for competition.
LMP2 the most popular class
A total of 15 full-season LMP2 entries will feature on the WEC 2022 grid. Established competitors return, but there are also some new names on the entry list. For the first time in the history of the current LMP2 regulations, all teams will be using the same chassis (Oreca 07).
Reigning champions WRT are back with a two-car effort, one of which in partnership with Realteam Racing. Fellow 2021 championship hopefuls United Autosports and JOTA will also join the fray with two-car programmes.
Single-seater stalwarts Prema have moved across to endurance racing with 2021 ELMS drivers’ champions Louis Delétraz and Robert Kubica for the new Prema Orlen Team entry.
New British-based team have assembled arguably one of the strongest driver line-ups in LMP2. Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais joins Ryan Cullen and Audi works driver Nico Müller in the #10 Oreca 07.
Team Penske have also chosen to enter the WEC for the first time. The storied US team will be taking on IMSA and WEC with a four-car, works-supported Porsche LMDh programme from 2023.
The US team have put together a fearsome driver line-up, too. Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr will line up alongside Emmanuel Collard, who was re-graded as a silver driver for 2022 upon reaching the age of 50.
Five cars for GTE Pro swansong
Porsche and Ferrari will continue their age-old battle in GTE Pro with a pair of entries each as the class enters its final all-pro year. So far there has only been one major change in personnel in the class, with Neel Jani replaced by Michael Christensen in the #92. Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz will continue in the #91 car. Laurens Vanthoor and Frédéric Makowiecki will move into the squad for the endurance races.
As recently confirmed by the team, GTE Pro numbers on the WEC 2022 grid will be boosted by the addition of the first full-season works Corvette entry in the WEC. With Corvette Racing’s traditional home in IMSA racing switching to a GT3-based formula for 2022, the C8.R has been left with nowhere else to run under GTE rules except in the WEC. A modified version of the car will compete in the US, while Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy compete for world championship honours in the #64 machine in the WEC.
The 2022 season is the final year of the GTE Pro class and the GTE world championships for drivers and manufacturers. For 2023, the class will be replaced by GTE Am-only for a single year. A GT3-based formula is scheduled to be introduced from 2024.
Stability in GTE Am
Much remains the same in the GTE Am on the WEC 2022 grid. A total of 13 cars are set to take part in the 2022 season. Entries include five Ferrari 488 GTE EVOs, five Porsche 911 RSR-19s and three Aston Martin Vantage AMRs.
Among the Porsche ranks, both Project 1 and Dempsey-Proton Racing return with two-car efforts in the category. The fifth Porsche entry comes in the shape of GR Racing.
Reigning drivers’ champions François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera have moved to LMP2 for 2022, but AF Corse is still back with its own two-car entry in GTE Am. Iron Lynx, Iron Dames and Spirit of Race round out the entry for the Italian marque.
Ben Keating is also back for 2022 together with TF Sport and Aston Martin, as are Paul Dalla Lana’s Northwest AMR outfit and Japanese squad D’Station Racing.
The full entry list is available here.