Cost is an important factor for any racing series, especially with the current economic situation. From the word go the WEC has been aware of this and has tried to cap costs as best as possible. One of the ways the FIA does this is by limiting the season length to just eight races a year. Although good for costs, the drivers don’t get as much time behind the wheel as they would in other championships.
As a driver in the WEC you are part of some of the longest races in the world, with the largest diversity of competitors. This means it is important to be on top of your game when racing in the championship, but with just eight races a year, seat time is hard to come by. In order to keep active and picking up experince, the drivers in the WEC are often found in other series around the world.
While Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi race in the WEC sharing the #8 Audi R18, they are also rivals between WEC races in the newly founded Formula E championship racing for the Dragon Racing team and Audi Sport Team ABT respectively. Although only in its first season, Formula E has already attracted a number of established names to the series. Sebastien Buemi, Sam Bird, Daniel Abt, Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost, Oliver Turvey, Stephane Sarrazin and Fabio Leimer have all already races in the all electric series. Over in Japan, the Super Formula Championship has names such as Andre Lotterer and Kazuki Nakajima at the sharp end of the championship.
While the LMP drivers prefer to turn to the formula series, the GT pilots looking preferably GT-series to improve itself. The Aston Martin Pilot Nicki Thiim travels next to his WEC commitment for Audi in the ADAC GT Masters and the team 75 Bernhardt in the German Porsche Carrera Cup. Klaus Bachler, who competes else for the Proton Team in the GT-Am, the WEC uses free time and also takes in the ADAC GT Masters. Also very popular is the Blancpain Series. The large GT-use fields just to the 24 Hours of Spa WEC some pilots the opportunity to spend their free time. Gianmaria Bruni take the end of July, Marcel Fässler, Nicolas Lapierre, Jann Mardenborough, Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla part in the Blancpain Series.
While the LMP drivers prefer to turn to Formula series for extra seat time, the GT drivers tend to find GT series to keep active between WEC rounds. Aston Martin driver Nicki Thiim is spending 2015 competing in the ADAC GT Masters series and German Porsche Carrera Cup alongside his GTE-PRO drive with the British manufacture in the WEC. Klaus Bachler, who drives for the Proton team in GTE-AM also compets in the ADAC GT Masters championship. Another popular series in the Blancpain GT Championships. The popular GT3 championship provides the grid for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, which attracts some WEC drivers every year. Drivers to compete in the Blaincpain series consist of Marcel Fassler, Gianmaria Bruni, Nicolas Lapierre, Jann Mardenborough, Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla.
While the WEC settles into its biggest break of the season after Le Mans, More drivers are popping up in other championships than ever. Some great racing takes place in these other series, so if you’re fed up of waiting for the the next round at the Nurburgring, why not check out some great racing in these other championships? In addition to lots of familer faces, great racing is always guaranteed.
Images – WEC-Magazin (James Clarke)