As we approach the debut race of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone this weekend, we debut a new feauture we are calling “The A-Z of what’s new in sportscar racing for 2013”.
With the help of Graham Goodwin, the editor of Dailysportscar.com we take a look at what we can expect from the season ahead.
A is for Alpine
No not the return of Sunbeam to the track (and in truth not really the return of Renault sub-brand Alpine yet either!)
There are plans afoot for a new Alpine road car with the famous factory collaborating with Caterham on a future model – For now the racing effort is a rebranded Oreca LMP2 with an appropriately Gallic driver line up and a very pretty retro blue and orange livery – Vive Le (not much) difference.
Expect to see the #36 car in the European Le Mans Series and at Le Mans too.
And A is for Audi
Audi took the multiple WEC defeats in the second half of 2012 at the hands of the upstart Toyota team as well as you might expect!
That’s why we have a heavily revised R18 e-tron Quattro and a reshuffled driver line-up.
The rear wing / wheel arch treatment of the Toyota has been ‘re-imagined’ by the Ingolstadt Army, better rear downforce will help to close he gap.
There was allegedly a heavily revised hybrid system too but it seems, at present that this has been outlawed by the powers that be.
Audi have scored a dominant win at Sebring already but Toyota weren’t there to race against and it was actually the #1 car, in 2012 spec, that took the flag – Make no mistake though Audi intend to defend their titles globally and in France with vigour.
It could be a heck of a year!
And for Aston Martin too!
Aston Martin celebrate a birthday in 2013, and it’s a big one too.
The company’s centenary will see a number of celebrations but none more spectacular than an amazing five car attack at Le Mans where the factory team’s quintet of Gulf liveried Vantage GTEs will be looking to bring home class wins in both the GTE Pro and Am classes.
With top quality driver line-ups, and a 2013 version of the car that is designed to add even further pace to the car that took, the final WEC race of 2012 the Vantages will be right in amongst the class leaders in GTe but read on because this is going to be far from a birthday cakewalk!
B is for Brazil
The WEC might have visited Brazil in its first competitive year in 2012 but the Championship organisers, and indeed the race organiser, none other than Emerson Fittipaldi, expect a much better event, and a much bigger crowd in 2013 at Interlagos.
B is for Buemi
Sebastian Buemi is one of a gaggle of recent Formula One refugees to contest the FIA WEC.
The quick Swiss will do so with Toyota, so is likely to be in the mix for race wins at the very least – the driver mix in his #8 Toyota looks ominously fast but will Seb be an ex F1 man of the Davidson or the Villneuve variety?
C is for Circuit of the Americas
Austin Texas is the one new venue on the 2013 FIA WEC calendar, replacing Sebring as North America’s venue of choice for the visit of the World Championship.
The circuit has had rave reviews from the drivers, and the facilities are appropriately World Class. Better still the weekend welcomes not only the WEC but also a race on Saturday for the American Le Mans Series too – Unmissable.
We will continue this A-Z shortly, so be sure to keep coming back for more sports car and Le Mans news.
NB. If you are at Silverstone for the FIA World Championship this weekend, then don’t forget to pop by the Travel Destinations stand in the Fanzone area, to pick up some exclusive freebies and enter our Le Mans 2013 competition. See you there!