Who's new to the WEC in 2022?
The recently-announced FIA WEC entry list revealed a total of seven new teams for the 2022 season.
FIAWEC.com is focusing on some of the teams who are new to the LMP2 category, which sees a record-breaking 15 entries this season and which requires teams to run at least one Silver or Bronze-graded driver in its line-up.
So, who are the newbies that will be joining our LMP2 regulars United Autosports, JOTA, Richard Mille Racing Team, Inter Europol Competition, ARC Bratislava plus reigning category champions WRT for WEC Season 10?
First up, we have:
One of the biggest names in US motorsport, Team Penske will join the WEC in 2022 in preparation for running Porsche’s entry in the headline Hypercar category from 2023.
Penske has represented Porsche on the track or in its businesses for more than six decades including in 1971 when team owner Roger Penske was looking for new challenges in the world of sportscar racing. Most recently, Porsche and Penske shared a proven track record of success with its partnership from 2006 to 2008 on what was then the American Le Mans Series.
Penske will work together with the experts from Weissach to run factory entries in the WEC and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023 onwards, but for 2022 the WEC is delighted to welcome Team Penske to LMP2!
Prema Orlen Team
Founded in 1983 by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccolo, Prema Racing has become the leading contender in junior single-seater racing. Today, Prema covers all the steps of the junior single-seater ladder towards Formula 1. The operation runs in Formula 4 and the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, as well as in Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Based in Italy, Prema Orlen Racing will make its debut in sportscar racing in 2022, campaigning one brand-new Oreca 07 LMP2 car in collaboration with established GT racing outfit, Iron Lynx. In an effort to replicate the success achieved in single-seaters, the team will rely on a high-potential trio consisting of reigning ELMS Champions Robert Kubica and Louis Delétraz plus Lorenzo Colombo, who will make the step from single-seater racing this season.
A new name to the world of sportscars, Vector Sport is headed up by Team Principal Gary Holland who brings with him a wealth of endurance racing management experience from the likes of JOTA and Risi Competizione. Holland has also been Team Manager with Dragon/Penske Autosport in Formula E, working with Nico Müller who will drive for the team in 2022 alongside Ryan Cullen and former F1 driver, Sebastien Bourdais. The LMP2 outfit will be based out of Silverstone in the UK.
French outfit Ultimate will make the transition from ELMS to WEC for 2022 after finishing third in the LMP2 Pro-Am Championship last season.
Founded in 2013 by Lahaye brothers, Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste, and accompanied from the start by Gentleman driver and friend François Heriau, the team competed for several seasons in VdeV Endurance Championship. The same line-up of drivers will also compete in this year’s WEC.
The team moved on to the European Le Mans Series in 2016 with an LMP3 programme before moving to an Oreca 07 Gibson for the 2021 ELMS season taking the Pro-Am win at the season-opening race in Barcelona.
G-Drive Racing Team
Not exactly new to the WEC, but a returnee to the championship for 2022 for its first full season on the world stage since 2016. From 2013 to 2016, G-Drive Racing claimed 17 victories in the WEC which was led by Roman Rusinov and took the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams in 2015.
G-Drive Racing has also been associated with ELMS since 2016, winning three overall European Le Mans Series titles in a row. In 2022, the RAF entered team have confirmed Australia’s James Allen and Austria’s Rene Binder to drive for the squad with the third team-mate still to be determined.