With the Fuji round behind them, the competitors in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) are now headed to Shanghai this weekend for the fifth round of the 2018-2019 Super Season that will come to a close with the 24 Hours of Le Mans 15-16 June 2019.
There are few changes among the teams and drivers in comparison to the 6 Hours of Fuji except the arrival of an official Corvette C7.R, sporting the number 64 in LMGTE Pro to be shared by Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, two class winners at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015. The Ginetta LMP1s are still absent. As for driver changes, Renger van der Zande, at Petit Le Mans the weekend of Fuji, returns to take the wheel of DragonSpeed's BR Engineering BR1 LMP1, Enzo Guibbert will drive Larbre Compétition's Ligier LMP2 and Khaled Al Qubaisi is back representing Dempsey-Proton Racing with the #88 Porsche.
A symbol of China's economic growth, the "pearl of the Orient" is once again hosting a round of the championship, as it has since 2012, at a circuit inaugurated in 2004. A succession of straights and tight turns, the 5,451 meter circuit is well-known by endurance newcomers Fernando Alonso (two-time F1 world champion in 2005 and 2006, and 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans winner with Toyota) and Jenson Button (who succeeded him in 2009) since a Grand Prix has been held there since its opening.
The two former McLaren teammates, now adversaries in LMP1, will hit this track again on Friday 16 November for an extra free practice session from 08:00 to 09:45 to develop future Michelin tires which every team in the classes uses. All competitors will then take part in the 90-minute free practice at 11:00 then a second 90-minute session at 15:30.
After a night of rest, the drivers will once again take the wheel for a final one-hour free practice on on Saturday 17 November from 09:50 to 10:50, then two will participate in a 20-minute qualifying session at 14:00 for the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes and 14:30 for LMP1 and LMP2.
The start at the 6 Hours of Shanghai will be given on Sunday 18 November at 11:00 local time.
PHOTO (Copyright - John Rourke/AdrenalMedia.com - FIA WEC): In 2017, movie star Jackie Chan, whose team participates in the championship, gave the start at the 6 Hours of Shanghai.