The FIA World Endurance Championship is an auto racing world championship organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The series supersedes the ACO's former Intercontinental Le Mans Cup which began in 2010, and is the first endurance series of world championship status since the demise of the World Sportscar Championship at the end of 1992. The World Endurance Championship name was previously used by the FIA from 1981 to 1985.
The series features multiple classes of cars competing in endurance races, with sports prototypes competing in the Le Mans Prototype categories, and production-based grand tourers competing in the LM GTE categories. World champion titles are awarded to the top scoring manufacturers and drivers over the season, while other cups and trophies will be awarded for drivers and private teams.
The World Endurance Championship follows much of the format of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and features nine endurance races across the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with all races being at least four hours in duration. The calendar includes four races in Europe, two in the Americas, two in Asia and one in the Middle East, with a possible future expansion. There are four categories: LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes and the GTE category, divided into GTE Pro for teams with professional driver line-ups, and GTE Am for teams featuring a mixture of amateur drivers.
Eight titles are awarded each season based on total point tally, with four being deemed world championships: World Endurance LMP1 Championship, World Endurance GTE Manufacturers' Championship, World Endurance LMP Drivers' Championship and World Endurance GTE Drivers' Championship. The points system is similar to that used in the FIA's other world championships, awarding points to the top ten finishers on a sliding point margin scale from first to tenth. Cars finishing the race but classified eleventh or further are awarded a half point. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans points are worth roughly 1.5x as much (i.e. 25 points for a win is worth 38 points at Le Mans).
Faced with declining manufacturer interest, the FIA commissioned a study into the future regulations of the category. Known as "Le Mans Hypercar", the proposal called for move away from Le Mans Prototype entries and less reliance on hybrid technologies. The proposal was designed to make the championship more appealing to car manufacturers and cited flagship models such as the Aston Martin Vulcan and McLaren Senna GTR as examples of the cars the category was hoping to attract.
|12 Hours of Sebring||Sebring International Raceway||Only 2012|
|6 Hours of São Paulo||Autódromo José Carlos Pace||2012 to 2014|
|6 Hours of Nürburgring||Nürburgring||2015 to 2017|
|6 Hours of Mexico||Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez||2016 & 2017|
- WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
- European Le Mans Series
- Asian Le Mans Series
- FIA GT1 World Championship
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