Ferrari's Molina tips GT3s to replace GTE in WEC

Factory Ferrari driver Miguel Molina believes the FIA World Endurance Championship should eventually switch to GT3 cars following the recent manufacturer exodus from GTE Pro.

Ferrari's Molina tips GT3s to replace GTE in WEC

The WEC’s GTE Pro category was already down to three manufacturers last season following the exits of BMW and Ford after 2018/19, but Aston Martin’s decision in December to step down from the class has left just Porsche competing against Ferrari this year.

The situation is even worse in the corresponding GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with Corvette left as the only full-season manufacturer after Porsche pulled out of the series at the end of last year and BMW scaled back its commitment to just the four endurance races in 2021.

IMSA announced in the run up to the Rolex 24 Hours last month that the GT3-based GTD Pro category will replace GTLM next year, potentially leaving WEC and the ELMS as the only two championships running GTE cars.

The WEC’s situation is complicated by a very healthy grid in the GTE Am class that uses the same cars as the GTE Pro, with a bumper 13-car entry announced for this year.

Molina, who was promoted to Ferrari’s full season GTE Pro line-up at the beginning of the 2019/20 season, said GT3 is “the direction to go” for the WEC but warned that it could take another two years before cars built to those regulations are introduced.

"I think they will do more or less the same [as IMSA]," Molina told Motorsport.com. "But the question is whether the WEC can cope with such a big grid with all the brands [with GT3 programmes] that would be interested. 

“There are so many brands and so little space, and if there are options to race in the WEC, they will all want to race at least one car. It's going to be difficult, but I imagine it's the direction to go.

“Still, it wouldn’t happen until the end of 2022 because as far as I know, the GTE project is agreed and the [current] homologation will not finish until the end of 2022. Porsche brought out a new car last year as well.”

Read Also:

Molina says it was a “logical” step from IMSA to abandon the GTLM class in favour of a second division based on GT3 cars, given running costs are relatively lower and more manufacturers have cars built to those regulations.

“I think it's going to go that way because there are a lot more brands involved and the car is somehow easier to manage, although still complex, the maintenance is different and the starting price of the car is lower,” he explained.

“It has also happened with LMDh, which in some way are trying to help the brands to be able to make projects at the lowest possible price and this is something similar, it is the new reality of motorsport. 

“It is a car that has given very good results and I think there is a lot of equality in terms of performance, as we have seen in the GT World Challenge, whose BoP is very well done. IMSA must have seen this and it was the logical step to take.

"At the end of the day we will all adapt to the situation, but I like the GTE a lot, because it has fewer driver aids, like ABS, which make it a bit more of a race car.

"But since I've been at Ferrari I've done championships in one type of car and in the other and in the end you adapt yourself to it."

shares
comments

Related video

Spa opens revised WEC calendar, Portimao moved to June

Previous article

Spa opens revised WEC calendar, Portimao moved to June

Next article

Corvette joins 62-car Le Mans 24 Hours entry list

Corvette joins 62-car Le Mans 24 Hours entry list
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Miguel Molina
Author Rachit Thukral
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021