The year 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). Before we head into a new season full of promise and excitement - the 2018/2019 Super Season that will span a year and a half - here is a quick look in the rearview mirror at the FIA WEC and six editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
2012: The official debut of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC); the first race took place at Sebring in the U.S. in March of 2012.
50: On Saturday, November 18th, the 6 Hours of Bahrain marked the 50th race of the FIA WEC.
6: Editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans have already taken place since the inception of the FIA WEC; two more are on the program of the upcoming 2018/2019 Super Season.
Number of victories
Two manufacturers share the greatest number of wins. Indeed, Porsche and Audi have triumphed the most in the FIA WEC with 17 each, but Toyota doesn't trail by much with 16. Since the creation of the FIA WEC, Audi and Porsche also have in common the number of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with three each: Audi (2012, 2013 and 2014) and Porsche (2015, 2016 and 2017).
G-Drive Racing is the winningest team in the LMP2 class with 19. Several cars achieved this record: the ORECA 03, the Morgan LMP2, the Ligier JS P2, the ORECA 05 and the ORECA 07. On the other hand, the Russian team is still chasing its first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Aston Martin is the winningest manufacturer with 37 victories in the LMGTE class, broken down as follows: 14 in LMGTE Pro and 23 in LMGTE Am. The British marque, with two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (one in LMGTE Am in 2014 and the other in LMGTE Pro in 2017), is closely followed by Ferrari with 35 victories.
Only three drivers have participated in all 50 races of the FIA WEC to-date. They are André Lotterer, Darren Turner (Aston Martin) and Christian Ried (Porsche). All three will be competing in the 2018/2019 Super Season.
449 drivers, from 40 different countries, have taken part in a given round of the FIA WEC since its inception.
France is the country with the largest number of representatives: 93 French drivers have competed at one or more FIA WEC races.
FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans records
Most competitors at the start: 60 (2016 and 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans) since the amount of garages has been increased.
Most competitors at the start including participants not involved in the FIA WEC: 62 (2012 12 Hours of Sebring).
Largest number of cars at the finish: 49 (2017 24 Hours of Le Mans).
Largest number of cars at the finish including participants not involved in the FIA WEC: 51 (2012 12 Hours of Sebring).
Highest percentage of competitors at the finish: 100% (2016 6 Hours of Bahrain and 2017 6 Hours of Mexico, with one competitor at the checkered flag but unranked).
Fastest 24-hour race: 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans (at an average of 224.200 km/h) with the win for the trio Nick Tandy-Earl Bamber-Nico Hülkenberg at the wheel of the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid. They covered 395 laps.
Fastest six-hour race: 2017 Spa-Francorchamps (at an average of 201.838 km/h) won by the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
Fastest average during qualifying: 251.882 km/h at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans (Kamui Kobayashi, #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID). The Japanese driver scored in 3"14''791 the fastest pole position in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (check out his on-board camera lap below) on this configuration of the circuit. He beat a 32-year-old record in place since 1985 by Hans Joachim Stuck and his Porsche 956, in 3'14''80 (average of 251.815 km/h).
Fastest average during qualifying (outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans): 219.698 km/h at the 2015 WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Porsche 919 Hybrid) in 1"54''767.
Fastest in-race lap: at an average of 248.459 km/h at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans (André Lotterer, #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro). The German driver clocked a time of 3"17''75 in the 337th lap.
Fastest in-race lap (outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans): 214.336 km/h at the 2017 WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Brendon Hartley, Porsche 919 Hybrid).
Smallest gap in the battle for victory: 0"01"439 at the 2016 6 Hours of Fuji between Toyota Gazoo Racing's #6 Toyota TS050 HYBRID driven by Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi and the #8 Audi R18 of Lucas Di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis.
Now on to the 2018/2019 Super Season, including two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 16-17, 2018 and June 15-16, 2019)!
VIDEO: DailyMotion - The 24 Hours of Le Mans
Stats furnished by the FIA WEC