Formula One is still regarded as the pinnacle of motor sport, and for many it’s the only race series they’ll tune in to on a regular basis. But, for this season at least, it might be worth searching out coverage of the World Endurance Championship instead – and here’s why.
Most people will know the World Endurance Championship for the Le Mans 24 Hours race, which this year is certain to be hotly contested by Toyota, Audi and Porsche – though the German teams are favourite for the top spot.
But last weekend, a round of the WEC coincided with the Chinese Grand Prix and the spectacles really couldn’t have been further removed – the WEC Silverstone 6 Hours race was full of drama and wheel-to-wheel racing, while the Chinese Grand Prix was more or less a procession.
Throughout the six-hour race at Silverstone, there was no chance of predicting the winner until the last two laps, such was the battle for the lead. In the end, the Audi took the win, with the Porsche coming in five seconds behind and Toyota ten seconds behind that. For a six-hour race, that’s incredibly close.
And what’s amazing about how close this race was, is how different the cars are. All have different engines – petrol and diesel – with varying capacities and with different layouts – a four-cylinder, six-cylinder and an eight-cylinder. All cars are hybrids, but even their hybrid systems vary wildly. When could you claim that kind of variance in Formula 1?
And as an extra spectacle for the crowd, the top-class cars like the Porsche, Audi and Toyota must conduct their battles among the slower traffic of the GTE class cars that are on track at the same time.
That one race at Silverstone enthralled in a way Formula One has recently been struggling to emulate. So tune in to the WEC race at Spa, Belgium from May 2nd – you won’t be disappointed.