The 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship received underway final week with the 1000 Miles of Sebring. The race was important for 2 important causes. First, the brand new LMDh class of automobiles competed for the primary time within the premier Hypercar class alongside automobiles from the present LMH class. Second, Ferrari made its return to top-level endurance racing after 50 years with the brand new 499P LMH.
Reigning champion Toyota dominated the race with its up to date GR010 Hybrid LMH. It was a one-two end for the Japanese staff, with the quantity 7 GR010 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López ending first, and the no. 8 GR010 Hybrid of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Ryo Hirakawa coming in simply 2.168 seconds behind.
Whereas it wasn’t the dream begin Ferrari would have needed, the Italian staff’s third-place end with the no. 50 499P was spectacular nonetheless. Drivers Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, and Nicklas Nielsen crossed the road two laps behind the Toyotas.
Regardless of shedding the pole place to Ferrari and its no. 50 499P, Toyota saved the strain on the chief by way of the opening laps. An accident by a GT automobile on the fifth lap introduced out the protection automobile and led to the race stopping for 25 minutes. The Ferrari stopped for gas throughout this era, which gave the Toyotas the lead spot. The 2 Toyotas then constructed up a spot that might develop to 2 laps.
Toyota on the 2023 1000 Miles of Sebring
There was some drama with the no. 51 Ferrari 499P. Two hours from the end line and in fifth place, with Pier Guidi behind the wheel, the automobile got here into contact with a Ferrari 488 GTE pushed by Francesco Castellacci. The 499P managed to return to the pits for some repairs, however might solely handle to return in seventh on the finish. Forward was the no. 2 Cadillac V-Sequence.R in fourth, adopted by the no. 5 and no. 6 Porsche 963 LMDhs in fifth and sixth locations.
The following race on the calendar is the 6 Hours of Portimão (Portugal) on April 19. The all-important 24 Hours of Le Mans runs the weekend beginning June 10.