The 2016 World Endurance Championship has officially kicked off with the recent two-day ‘Prologue’ warm-up event at Paul Ricard. Porsche brought both 2016 919 LMP1 Hybrids to the circuit, covering a total of 2,197 kilometres.
Drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb ran their car on day one, with reigning World Champions, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber taking their turn on day two. Each session finished with a Porsche 919 Hybrid leading the time sheets. The overall fastest lap was set by Brendon Hartley.
“It was trouble-free running for both our new cars,” said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, “and we have received positive feedback from our drivers. Therefore we are confident for the opening round at Silverstone on April 17. Only there it will be possible to judge the overall competition.”
“Running two cars was a good dress rehearsal for the team before the first race,” said Team Principal, Andreas Seidl (above). “The drivers have done a lot of testing during recent weeks but at the Prologue they were facing on-track traffic for the first time since last year’s finale. By the end of the two days, we had achieved the targets we had set ourselves in terms of season preparation.”
2016 FIA WEC Calendar
The 2016 WEC season starts at Silverstone later this month, kicking off nine races in total: Le Mans at 24 hours and eight more six-hour events. Mexico is a new race for 2016, with the rest of the calendar mirroring last year. “We are proud to have maintained the level of stability in the four years of the WEC,” said Pierre Fillon, President of ACO. “The time is right to expand the WEC, and the nine-race calendar allows us to continue to build the tradition of six-hour events. Of course, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans is the race that everyone knows about and wants to compete in, but the legend is now being extended to the six-hour races as well and moving into countries with strong historic links to endurance, such as Mexico City.”
The 2016 FIA WEC calendar is as follows:
- 17 April: 6 Hours of Silverstone, UK
- 07 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa, Belgium
- 18/19 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans, France
- 24 July: 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany
- 04 September: 6 Hours of Mexico City, Mexico
- 17 September: 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas, USA
- 16 October: 6 Hours of Fuji, Japan
- 06 November: 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
- 19 November: 6 Hours of Bahrain