The A – Z of What’s New in Sportscar Racing 2013 (J – L)

With the return of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa this weekend, in what is the traditional warm-up act before we all move on to Le Mans, we continue our look at the sports car racing alphabet with Graham Goodwin from 

J is for Jota

The Kent based Jota team have a new look lineup for 2013 with Simon Dolan joined by rapid young Brit Oliver Turvey. Former FIA GT1 World Champion, Porsche and Audi factory driver Lucas Luhr joins the team for Le Mans too.

Expect them to be in real contention in the ELMS and at Le Mans, particularly after a first round ELMS victory at Silverstone

J is for Japan

The past few years have seen a major resurgence of interest in international sportscar racing from Japan – Whether it is the major factories ( Nissan, Toyota and Honda), the drivers, Takuma Sato, Kazuki Nakajima, Satoshi Motoyama and now Kamui Kobayashi to name but a few, but if you want to really treat yourself, take a look at the WEC race at Fuji Speedway, a great track, close to Tokyo with great atmosphere and where you can be guaranteed a large crowd, a festival atmosphere and, all told, an entirely different racing experience.

K is for Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi didn’t take long to become a firm favourite with Formula One fans, a highly skilled exponent of the racing art who shrugged away talk of difficulties in overtaking with some truly fantastic displays of heads-up aggressive racing.

When the F1 musical chairs for 2013 stopped Kobayashi was left standing, bad news for his single seater career, good news for endurance racing as he arrives, no doubt feeling he has a point or two to prove, at AF Corse for the FIA WEC. He’ll want to win, and he’ll REALLY want the GTE World title – Stand by for fireworks.

L is For LMP1

Its a season of nips, tucks and tweaks rather than brand new machinery though you can be sure that the seemingly similar to last year’s Audis and Toyotas are anything but.

Spa will see the first appearance of the 2013 Toyota and of the new long tail Audi.

The privateer LMP1s from Rebellion and Strakka meanwhile have been sprouting, respectively, a new rear and a new front end.  Racers never stand still!

L is for LMP2

There are new teams, new drivers, but the cost capped formula for the junior LMP class means that most of the cars are very similar indeed to those we saw in 2013, there is though one major newcomer on that front

L is for Lotus

The major new addition to the LMP2 roster is the brand new Lotus T128, brought to the WEC by the Kodewa based Lotus LMP2 team.

The new coupe replaces the team’s pair of Lola coupes from 2012 but retains the BMW-based Judd engines. Another ‘L’ ex F1 man Vitantonio Liuzzi is amongst a strong driver line-up.

If we don’t see you at the FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa this weekend, then be sure to revist us here as we will bring you more of our sportscar alphabet next week.