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WEC Preview: 6 Hours of Monza

Written by Evan Veer, Edited by Sean McKean

Credit - Jan Patrick Wagner/focuspackmedia.com

In the wake of the centenary Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship makes its way to Monza for the fifth round of the season. With the return of Ferrari to the top class and their subsequent victory at the centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans last month, we can expect the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza to be covered in red to a scale never seen before in the championship.


The track’s characteristics are arguably the closest to Le Mans out of any of the other circuits on the calendar, thus meaning that those who did well on pace at the crown event should be in good form over the weekend. Previous editions have proven that Monza has the potential to put on a great show over the course of the weekend.


After their historic win at Le Mans, Ferrari will be hoping to impress again in front of their home crowd, however, they are also the ones who were hit the hardest in the recent change in Balance of Performance (BoP), with a cut in power and stint energy as well as an increase in weight. A number of other cars, including Toyota, Porsche, and Cadillac, have also been impacted - albeit, to a lesser extent - while Glickenhaus, Vanwall, and notably Peugeot remained largely the same, potentially allowing them to further climb up the field with Peugeot being in what looks like an especially good position after an already positive improvement at Le Mans.


Proton Competition finally took delivery of its customer Porsche 963 and will be joining the Hypercar grid in the WEC as well as the GTP class in IMSA. In both championships, the team will use a Weathertech livery based off of the Proton-run Mercedes GT3, which won the 24 Hours of Daytona this year. Like its fellow LMDh customer teams, Proton will likely be using their debut race as practice, since the team still needs time to get familiar with the car, while on the other hand, the JOTA Porsche may finally be able to throw themselves in the mix for the top positions this weekend after having shown some impressive pace at Le Mans.


On a less positive note, the yellow #3 Cadillac will not make a return to the WEC this season, as its previous outings at Spa and Le Mans were one-off entries between the team’s full-time IMSA campaign.


This race might be the last time we see the Glickenhaus 007 LMH in competition, as doubts have started to arise about the team’s future in the WEC. Either way, Glickenhaus has the potential to be somewhat competitive this week, leaving potential for a good sendoff for an outfit that has helped keep the WEC alive in the years when most needed.

Credit - Jan Patrick Wagner/focuspackmedia.com

Down in LMP2, a good finish at Le Mans has put the #41 WRT up in the lead of the championship with the winning #34 Inter Europol right behind, though concerns remain surrounding the - as of yet - unfinalized Le Mans results, as several parts were taken from the #34 for further technical inspection.


Despite the #22 and #23 United cars being more than 20 and 30 points behind respectively, they have shown some incredible speed over the season and certainly shouldn’t be counted out of the title fight at this stage.


The #23 will see a driver change, due to Blomqvist’s commitments in the IMSA race this weekend, as he will be replaced by Giedo van der Garde with whom the team won at Portimão.


Having added to an already incredible season with a victory at Le Mans, the #33 Corvette Racing has now gained the opportunity to seal the championship after only 5 out of 7 rounds, with the team having amassed more than twice as much as the #25 Oman Racing Team in second place. Going off of Corvette’s track record, they will definitely be in the mix once again after having won the race last year and winning three out of four races so far this season.


This does not mean they can expect to take home another podium without a fight, however, as a fleet of several Italian teams and cars will be extra motivated to take up the fight for the top step on their home soil.


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