The FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season kicks off this weekend at the iconic Spa-Franchorchamps circuit in Belgium and Andy Priaulx cannot wait to start his attack on what will be an historic championship. While the first race, the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, is on the 5th May 2018, the final of the season’s eight rounds will not be until June 2019.
For the third successive season he will be driving for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team and he will again have fellow Brit Harry Tincknell as a team mate. However, this year for the first round in Belgium and Le Mans the duo will be joined by Indy 500 and IndyCar championship winner Brazil’s Tony Kanaan. Talking ahead of the short trip from his home in Guernsey to Spa in the Ardennes forest, the triple world champion said: “It has been quite a few months of no racing for me with the last race being in Bahrain in November. However, we have been testing quite a lot over the winter and I think we have made some good choices on set-up and tyres. I am now going into my third full season with the team. I have a great bunch of guys behind me and brilliant team mates with harry and Tony Kanaan, so I am very optimistic.”
However, Andy is also aware what the competition will be like for their number 67 Ford GT and commented: “I think the GTE Pro class will be incredibly competitive. Spa will be interesting, as we have the BMW that is new to the series and the new car from Aston Martin, and we have not seen their true potential yet as we have only done the Prologue. I am also sure we will have a big fight with Porsche and Ferrari. We have to come out with all guns blazing in Spa, but we also need to think of the whole championship as well. Eight races over 18 months with two goes at Le Mans 24 Hours is going to be interesting.”
While Andy is concentrating on his season ahead, he is also keeping a close eye on that of his son Sebastian. The 17-year-old is racing in the F4 British Championship and has already notched up a win at the first weekend of his season in Brands Hatch. “I am immensely proud of Seb and how he is approaching his racing. He had a great start to the season and this year there is a lot of pressure for both sides of the Priaulx family,” said Andy.
The weekend’s action on the 7.004 Kilometre (4.352 mile) circuit starts on Thursday, 3rd May with FP1 from 12.00 to 13.30 and then FP2 is from 16.25 to 17.55. On Friday FP3 is from 11.00 to 12.00 and then qualifying for the LMPGTE Pro class is later that day from 15.00 to 15.25. The six hour race starts on the 5th May at 13.30 and ends at 19.30.
2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season
5 May 2018 – WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
16/17 June 2018 – 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
19 August 2018 – 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR)
13/14 October 2018 – 6 Hours of Fuji (JPN)
18 November 2018 – 6 Hours of Shanghai (CHN)
15 March 2019 – 1000 Miles of Sebring (USA)
4 May 2019 – WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
15/16 June 2019 – 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)