WEC: Sebring 12 Hours Preview

The FIA World Endurance Championship is returning to Sebring for the first time since the inaugural race back in 2012.

The first race of the year is not the first race of the season, a season which started at Spa Francorchamps back in May and has since been to Le Mans, Silverstone, Fuji and Shanghai.

The race at Sebring also sees a change to the race format as instead of a fixed, 6-hour time limit, the race will run to either 1000 miles or 8-hours, whichever is soonest.

Toyota was easily fastest in the pre-event test session and unofficially broke the lap-record with ease.

There have been no changes to the line-ups in either car although there have been numerous changes elsewhere in the LMP1 class.

The most notable change has happened at ByKolles as they have elected not to participate owing to a dispute with Nismo over the performance of the engines they were running.

Elsewhere in the class SMP Racing have welcomed former F1 drivers Brendon Hartley and Sergey Sirotkin to the team.

Hartley will be driving the #11 entry alongside Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov in the place of Jenson Button who is in Melbourne with Sky Sports F1.

Sirotkin is no stranger to the team, having driven for them at Le Mans in 2017 and will be replacing Matevos Issakyan in the #17.

Rebellion R13: Photo from Rob Lomas Collection

Rebellion Racing has confirmed that Andre Lotterer wouldn’t be racing for them this weekend due to Formula E commitments for DS Techeetah ahead of the upcoming round in Sanya, China.

He has been replaced by Mathias Beche in the #1 and Beche himself has been replaced in the #3 by Nathanael Berthon.

In the LMP2 class, Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer will be in the #50 Larbre Competition Ligier JSP217.

The other change in the class sees the all Malaysian crew in the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca getting replaced by Will Stevens, Jordan King and David Heinemeier Hansson.

The GTE-Pro class sees a number of teams opting to run a third driver due to the increased duration of the race.

AF Corse has brought Daniel Serra into the #51 and Miguel Molina will be in the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

Corvette has entered one of their C7.Rs for Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller after an earlier appearance at Shanghai saw Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner driving.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing have drafted in Billy Johnson to the #66 and Jonathan Bomarito into the #67, the first time Bomarito will have raced the GT.

BMW has also brought in extra drivers for this weekend with Alex Sims being added to the #81 M8 GTE and Bruno Spengler will be in the #82.

Project 1 Porsche: Photo from Rob Lomas Collection

GTE-Am saw the biggest drama in testing as Team Project 1 saw their car catch fire in dramatic fashion.

Jorg Bergmeister walked away but the car was written off although the team have secured a new chassis for the event.

The other main change sees Clearwater Racing have Luis Perez Companc and Matteo Cressoni join Matt Griffin in the #61 Ferrari.