Toyota have the advantage in the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship with four races left to run this year. We take a look at the season so far and where WEC has left to visit in its 2021 season.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s #8 car, driven by Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima, has won the opening two races of the 2021 World Endurance Championship. As a result, Toyota lead Alpine in the all new Hypercar category by 22 points. Glickenhaus Racing made their debut in the Hypercar class at the 8 Hours of Portimão, but a crash and a clutch issue saw the new team finish in 30th, 54 laps down on the leaders.
Where has WEC already visited in 2021?
The 2021 World Endurance Championship season began on the first weekend of May with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The race marked the debut of the new Hypercar category, with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team locking out the front row of the grid. While the #7 car found itself caught up in a number of incidents, the #8 Toyota led the field home ahead of Alpine’s #36 machine.
Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima won again at the second race meeting of the year – the 8 Hours of Portimão. Though Alpine took their first pole position, the Toyota cars pulled ahead over the 8 hour race and both cars finished over a minute ahead of the Alpine machine. It marked Toyota’s 100th victory in world championship endurance racing.
Where else will WEC visit in 2021?
Next on the World Endurance Championship calendar is Monza. The 6 Hours of Monza will be the series’ first visit to the legendary circuit for a race. Pre-season testing was held at the circuit in 2017.
The series’ main attraction – the 24 Hours of Le Mans – takes place in August. Following the coronavirus pandemic, the 24 hour race was pushed back to September in 2020 and held behind closed doors. In 2021, the event has been delayed from its normal June slot to a date in August in the hope of allowing fans to attend.
The 6 Hours of Fuji returns on September 26 at the Fuji Speedway after its absence last year. Toyota, who have won all but one of the eight World Endurance Championship events at the circuit, will be hoping for another strong home result. The 8 Hours of Bahrain ends the season at Bahrain International Circuit on November 20. Toyota are the defending winners there, too.
The 2021 WEC calendar
6 Hours of Portimão 2023April 16
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 2023April 29
24 Hours of Le Mans 2023June 10 – June 11
6 Hours of Monza 2023July 9
6 Hours of Fuji 2023September 10