WEC’s 2017 LMP2 class set to be dominated by Oreca

The LMP2 class of this year’s World Endurance Championship is set to be a near-monopoly of Oreca machinery, with at least seven of the French marque’s cars likely to be on the grid.

WEC’s 2017 LMP2 class set to be dominated by Oreca

Oreca’s new 07 design is one of four permitted by rulemakers for the 2017 season in the secondary division, with Ligier, Dallara and Riley/Multimatic securing the remaining three franchises.

However, concrete plans for an entry from any LMP2 team not running Oreca machinery have yet to surface ahead of the official unveiling of the WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours entry lists on Thursday.

The five confirmed LMP2 entries so far – two from Rebellion Racing and TDS Racing, and one from defending champion outfit Signatech – are all using Orecas.

Manor and JOTA Sport, albeit no longer in partnership with G-Drive as per 2016, are also expected to appear on the WEC entry list, again with Orecas in both cases.

Ligier, on the other hand, is facing the prospect of being absent from the WEC grid for the first time since early 2014.

The French marque has sold a number of JS P217s to teams for the European Le Mans Series, but is looking unlikely to have a full-time representative on the 2017 WEC grid after ESM and RGR Sport both ran Onroak-built JS P2s last year.

ESM, which ran two cars last year, has switched its attentions to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship full-time, while 2016 class runner-up RGR Sport is believed to have missed a deadline to put together a financial package for a full season, but could yet appear later in the year.

Meanwhile, the chances of seeing a Dallara on the WEC grid appear to rest on a comeback for the KCMG team, which last raced in the LMP2 class in 2015. But this is thought unlikely to materialise, at least for a full-time campaign.

Dallara was also thought to be the chassis of choice for the mooted 'Cosmos GP' project headed by former GP2 driver Giorgio Mondini, but little news on the Swiss team's plans has surfaced in recent weeks.

The full-season entry for the LMP2 class, which stood at 10 at the start of last year, is therefore expected to range between seven and nine for 2017 - making for a prototype class of between 13 and 15, combined with five LMP1s (discounting the possibility of a third Toyota).

With the GT field looking set to remain stable at 13 cars, the overall size of the field is poised to stand between 26 and 28 for the Silverstone opener, although that number could rise later in the year.

BMW's entry into WEC's GTE Pro class and extra privateer LMP1 cars from Ginetta and Dallara/SMP Racing should see grid numbers back into the 30s for the 2018 season.

shares
comments
Rusinov seals WEC LMP2 return as G-Drive partners TDS
Previous article

Rusinov seals WEC LMP2 return as G-Drive partners TDS

Next article

Toyota confirms Lopez signing, third car for Le Mans

Toyota confirms Lopez signing, third car for Le Mans
Load comments
Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement Prime

Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement

He may not have won the Le Mans 24 Hours - falling agonisingly short in 2016 - and didn't get the opportunities in Formula 1 his talents merited. But after calling time on his professional career last month, Anthony Davidson says his pride in his performances with Peugeot and Toyota in LMP1 mean more than the results he achieved

WEC
Dec 17, 2021
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021