By Paul Healy
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the FIA World Endurance Championship returns to action at Sebring International Raceway marking the opening round of the World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring. The action begins with Qualifying on Thursday with the race on Friday.
A field of 36 cars will take part in the 1000 Miles of Sebring with qualifying on Thursday, March 17 with the race on Friday. This is the second edition of the 1000-mile fixture and marks the WEC’s 10-year anniversary.
The Sebring itself is a notoriously bumpy and demanding circuit to race on at just over 6 km in lengh. Weather will also be a factor with the drivers expected to undertake the 1000mile in very humid conditions.
The Hypercar class is led by two Toyota GR010 Hybrids of Toyota Gazoo Racing, as well as the privateer Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus team with their 007 LMH, and the LMP1 car from Alpine.
In LMP2 the two teams to look out for will be 2021 champions Team WRT and United Autosports with either team expected to claim victory in the opening round.
As rookies in 2021 Team WRT made themselves one of the favourites and are certainly expected to continue their winning streak from last year.
United Autosports will be hoping to improve in 2022, after disappointing qualifying and race pace issues that emerged towards the tail end of the 2021 season.
Sebastien Ogier will make his debut as he takes to the wheel for Richard Mille Racing Team. The team, which notably had opted for female-only line ups in the past two seasons, has moved to a mixed gender driver line up.
Four cars of the 15 LMP2 make up the Pro-Am category, with GTE team AF Corse ones to keep an eye on. The Ferrari-backed team has moved up to LMP2 from GTE this season. The trio onboard the LMP2 car are, Nicklas Nielsen, Francois Perrodo and Alessio Rovera.
In GTE Pro the Porsche and Ferrari rivalry is due to be on again this season, but Corvette Racing are back on the grid, for the first time as a full season entry as they look to join in on the action too. Corvette have appeared in sporadic races over the years and a few appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but never have the team competed in a full season WEC before.
GTE Am class sees Porsche backed team Dempsey-Proton Racing as pre-race favourites with Team Project 1 also Porsche hot on their heels.
The two Ferrari-running entries of Iron Lynx and Iron Dames both looked promising in pre-season testing and will certainly keep the GTE Am class exciting.
Qualifying for the 1000 Miles of Sebring on Thursday, March 17 will start at 19:00 local time (-4 GMT) at Sebring International Raceway.
The race will get underway Friday, March 18 at 12:00 noon local time (-4 GMT).
- Date: Thursday, March 17, 2022
- Start time: 19:00 local time / 23:00 GMT / 00:00 CET / 10:00 AEDT (Friday) / 04:30 IST (Friday)
- Date: Friday, March 18, 2022
- Start time: 12:00 local time / 16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET / 03:00 AEDT (Saturday) / 21:30 IST