When it came time to create the 2018 season calendar, the World Endurance Championship decided to take a bit of a gamble. Instead of the traditional racing season that began in April and ended in November, WEC decided to go big.
The 2018-19 Super Season spans a total of 14 months and features the most iconic races and racetracks in the world and in a unique twist, will have the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the slate twice. It also marks the World Endurance Championship’s return to Sebring International Raceway for the first time since 2012.
The season officially began with Prologue, the WEC official preseason test, which took place in April, 2018, one month before the first running of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the Super Season calendar.
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
The race was expected to be a battle between the two Toyota Gazoo entries and it turned out to be a thriller, as the No. 8 TS050 Hybrid edged its sister No. 7 car by less than 1.5 seconds to take the first checkered flag of the season. Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima were the winning drivers.
The LMP2 battle saw the No. 26 G-Drive Racing trio of Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne and Andrea Pizzitola finish in front of the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car for the victory.
The No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi UK Ford GT captured the LMGTE-Pro class and the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin GTW won the LMGTE-Am class.
24 Hours of Le Mans
It was more of the same for Toyota, as the two Toyota Gazoo cars mirrored their finish at Spa, with the No. 8 trio once again getting the best of the No. 7 team of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez.
It was a completely different story in LMP2, however, as the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut driving tandem of Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andrea Negrao captured the win in front of the No. 39 Graff-SO24 entry. The American team of United Autosports placed third in the No. 32 car.
It was a 1-2 sweep for Porsche GT Team in LMGTE-Pro, with the No. 92 entry of Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor holding off their teammates in the No. 91 car. The No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA placed third, fighting off their WeatherTech rivals, Corvette Racing, for the final spot on the podium, with Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais placed third.
Dempsey-Proton Racing won the LMGTE-Am class in their familiar No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR, with Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Julien Andlauer standing on the top step of the podium. Spirit of Race finished second in its Ferarri 488 GTE, with the WeatherTech Porsche GT team of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber placing third, one spot in front of Ben Keating and his Keating Motorsports team.
6 Hours of Silverstone
The big news in this race isn’t that the two Toyotas crossed the finish line 1-2, but what happened after the race. Both Toyota Gazoo entries were disqualified, as was the No. 91 Porsche GT team LMGTE-Pro entry. When it was all said and done, the No. 3 Rebellion Racing R13, driven by Thomas Laurent, Mathias Beche and U.S. driver Gustavo Menezes who took the win ahead of the No. 1 Rebellion Racing entry, piloted by Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani. SMP Racing placed third.
The No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing got the best of its teammates in the No. 37, with the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut placing third. United States team DragonSpeed placed fourth in the No. 31 car.
The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi won the LMGTE-Pro class, with the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche capturing the LMGTE-Am class.
6 Hours of Fuji
Toyota Gazoo Racing returned to form, placing 1-2, with the No. 7 car finishing in front of the No. 8 entry, while Jackie Chan DC Racing made it a 1-2 sweep in LMP2, with the Signatech Alpine Matmut entry placing third.
In LMGTE-Pro, the No. 92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR placed first ahead of BMW Team MTEK and the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing UK team was third.
The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Jorg Bergmeiser, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti took the LMGTE-AM victory, with the No. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin placing second and the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing entry was third.
6 Hours of Shanghai
No surprise at the top of the standings, here, as Toyota ran 1-2, with Jenson Button’s SMP Racing team having a strong outing and finished third in front of the two Rebellion Racing entries. It was a bit of a battle for the LMP2 cars, as the class-winning No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry finished behind the LMGTE-Pro winner, but the team of Gabriel Aubrey, Stephane Richelmi and Ho-Pin Tung did what they needed to do to get the class victory. The No. 31 DragonSpeed entry was second and Signatech Alpine Matmut was third.
The No. 95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage AMR won the LMGTE-Pro class, with the two Porsche GT Team entries rounding out the podium
1000 Miles of Sebring
Thirty-four cars are entered in the 1000 Miles of Sebring, a race which counts extra points in the championship standings. While a win in a 6-hour race is worth 25 points and the 24 Hours of Le Mans awards 38 points to the winner, Sebring is worth 32 points to the victorious team. The race will begin at 4 p.m. on March 15 and Allan McNish, who was on the winning team in the WEC’s first ever race on March 18, 2012, which happened to be the 12 Hours of Sebring, is grand marshall.
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
On May 4, the WEC will return to Belgium for the second time in the ‘Super Season,’ with another stop at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The WEC has raced at Spa-Francorchamps every year since its inception in 2012.
24 Hours of Le Mans
The WEC ‘Super Season’ will come to a close with the most prestigious endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As usual, a full field of 60 cars will be entered in the race, with the 34 full season contestants, along with 26 other teams and there are 10 on the reserve list. Eight of the additional entries will come from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the two Corvette Racing entries making the trip to France, along with the two Ford Chip Ganassi USA Ford GTs and the two Porsche GT Team entries from the WeatherTech series.
The No. 62 WeatherTech Ferrari will compete in LMGTE-Am, as will Keating Motorsports, who will be entered in the LMGTE-Am class with a Ford GT.