WEC: W-Series champion tests for Flörsch team

Two months have passed since the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Sports Car World Championship (WEC) is now entering the home straight for the 2021 season. The 6h race in Bahrain next Sunday (4.30 p.m. on Eurosport) is already the penultimate event of the year. In all likelihood, the title will go to Toyota again.

The question is whether last year’s champions Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley will prevail. Or whether the trio Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López will win the title. The latter have won Le Mans and lead the table with 120: 111 points.

But actually, the eyes in the WEC have long been focused on the future. Because masses of manufacturers are pushing to Le Mans to build a hypercar or an LMDh prototype for the top class, many drivers are being sought – and many drivers are showing interest.

Ogier test confirmed

The rookie test will take place in Bahrain on November 7th. Prominent drivers have already been selected. For Toyota, for example, Sébastien Ogier takes the wheel. The Frenchman is about to take his eighth World Rally Championship title. But he no longer wants to chase Sébastien Loeb’s record of nine titles – instead, he wants to devote himself to the long-distance scene.

Sébastien Loeb

“It’s been my dream for a long time,” says the Frenchman. “So I’m really looking forward to the test.” In addition to Ogier, Charles Milesi will test for Toyota. In the scene, it is likely that the series rally world champion will be deployed as early as next year.

Sophie Flörsch does not drive in the top class, but in the 540 hp LMP2 prototype class. But here, too, the rush of drivers is great. There are no more vehicles at the start in any class. Flörsch rides in a women’s team with Beitske Visser and Tatiana Calderón. In Bahrain, she will only have Visser by her side because Caldéron will be competing in the Japanese Super Formula instead.

How are things going with Flörsch?

Sophia Flörsch

Flörsch is on the road for Richard Mille Racing for the second year. And thus reached the end of her two-year contract. It is not clear whether the program will continue. Also not whether Flörsch would be there if the worst came to the worst. Because in Bahrain two other women will get a test chance for Richard Mille Racing: W-Series champion Jamie Chadwick and her opponent Alice Powell.

Whether Chadwick could actually move to the WEC in 2022 is not clear. “I don’t know what the future will bring,” she says. “I am very excited. The fact that I have now been able to win the W Series twice will help me though. ”

Flörsch is already examining alternative options. In the European Le Mans Series last weekend she was part of the Algarve Pro Racing LMP2 line-up alongside Ferdinand Habsburg and Richard Bradley. The trio came in third, Flörsch the first woman on the podium of the ELMS.

When are which manufacturers coming?

One thing is certain: The new top class of the Sports Car World Championship is attracting more and more manufacturers. Alpine is the youngest carmaker to announce the construction of a new prototype for the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024.

Porsche returns to Le Mans.

Two ways are possible: A hypercar, with a completely free choice of chassis and engine. Maximum output: 680 hp, of which a maximum of 270 hp from an electric motor. In addition to Toyota and Glickenhaus, Peugeot will also follow this path from 2022 and Ferrari from 2023.

Acura, Cadillac, Alpine and the three German manufacturers BMW, Audi and Porsche, on the other hand, will each build an LMDh prototype from 2023 – also 680 hp (68 of which from a standard electric motor), chassis based on LMP2 prototypes, motor choice.
Audi and Porsche rely on the same drive (4.0-liter V8 biturbo) and chassis manufacturer (Multimatic). Nico Müller (29) and René Rast (34) are permanent Audi drivers. BMW teams up with Dallara.

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