Round 3 of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship will be held in China, with a bumper entry list 31 cars. The 4-hour race will be hosted at the famous Shanghai International Circuit on the outskirts of China’s largest city.
The grid for the 4 Hours of Shanghai will feature 87 drivers and 21 teams representing 24 different nations, including the home country of China.
The LMP1 category will feature five entries with two Toyota Gazoo Racing entries, one Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson and two AER powered Team LNT Ginettas.
After two races Toyota currently lead the LMP1 standings but with Shanghai’s unpredictable weather, coupled with the recent pace of both the Ginetta and Rebellion entries and the LMP1 Success Handicap coming into play for the Toyotas, the Chinese round of WEC could certainly throw up a few surprises.
LMGTE Pro will once again see a three-way battle between Ferrari, round one winners Porsche and Fuji race winners, Aston Martin Racing. With only five points separating Porsche and Aston Martin in the standings, it’s all to play for out of the six GTE Pro entries.
Aston Martin Racing have a strong record in China with the British marque winning three out of seven Chinese races (2012/13/18) and Porsche taking two victories in 2014 and 2015. The races in 2016 and 2017 were won by Ford. Will Aston Martin or Porsche be triumphant in Shanghai once again, or will Ferrari be able to take its first win on Chinese soil?
In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing will be eager to repeat its podium performance from Fuji as the Chinese squad look to put on a strong show on home soil. David Cheng and Jackie Chan’s team took the win last year and with Ho-Pin Tung’s family coming from Wenzhou in the Zheijiang Province, there’s no denying that the Sino-Dutch driver will be a firm favourite amongst the home fans.
Elsewhere, ex Formula 1 and DTM star Paul Di Resta will return to WEC duty with United Autosports in the ORECA 07 Gibson car. Oliver Jarvis stepped in for Di Resta in Japan due his DTM clash - a commitment that pre-dated Di Resta’s WEC programme.
The LMP2 entrants were on spectacular and entertaining form in Japan, and will be looking to repeat the performance in China…will Racing Team Nederland be able to make it two in a row, will Goodyear get its first WEC victory, will reigning class champions Signatech Alpine bounce back to the top?
Meanwhile, LMGTE Am will see a new entry from Proton Competition meaning the highly-competitive Am category will see a total of 12 entries – the biggest ever outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
TF Sport will be looking to add another victory to their FIA WEC debut win in Japan last month but will face many challenges from the high-quality grid in China, including round 1 winners AF Corse and reigning champions Team Project 1.
The new Porsche 911 RSR entry will be driven by father-and-son duo Philippe and Louis Prette as well as 24-year-old Frenchman, Vincent Abril. The trio competed at Le Mans earlier this year, finishing sixth in class while Abril was recently selected as one of four drivers to take part in the WEC’s official rookie test session at Bahrain in December.
The 4 Hours of Shanghai race will get underway on Sunday 10 November, preceded by practice and qualifying on the 8/9 November, as the FIA WEC returns to China for the eighth consecutive year.