Brazil will be represented by Andre Negrao and Pipo Derani in the main division of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), a class of sports prototypes and touring vehicles. This year’s season kicks off on Saturday (1), 8:30 am (Brasilia time), with 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Only Negrao will be in the contested stage in Spa (Belgium).
The two compete in Hipercarros, a class of prototype named LMP1 (Le Mans Prototype 1) until last year that brings together the most powerful and technical vehicles at the World Cup. In the 2019/2010 season, Dirani competed in one of the stages of the LMP1 Championship. In this edition, a British Glickenhaus team car will be partnering with Australian Ryan Briscoe, French Romaijn Dumas and Franck Mailleux.
Negrão will be appearing for the first time in the main section. Between 2017 and 2020, he raced in LMP2, the second major class of the World Endurance Championship, also from prototypes, where he was champion in the 2018/2019 edition. This year, the Brazilian will occupy the French Alpine car, which belongs to the Renault carmaker, along with drivers in the house: Nicolas Lapier and Matthew Vaxevere.
“We have two goals this year: to fight for the world title and try to win at Le Mans. Both are possible. Both are a dream for the French Alps,” Negraux said in a press release.
Le Mans, to which he refers, is the French city that receives 24 hours from Le Mans, considered the most important event of ability. She has played since 1923 and has been a part of the World Championship for nine seasons. Negrao won the race twice, in 2018 and 2019, at LMP2. A Brazilian has never won the main class. José Carlos Pace (1973), Raul Boscel (1991), Lucas de Grassi (2014) and Bruno Senna (2020) were among the closest.
“If you imagine the Le Mans to be the most important endurance race in the world, then it is easy to see that it has an impact on sports sales, especially in the European market (which is what makes the factory enter the sport). If you think this is a race in France, the Renault Arena) You can understand how important winning in the main category at Le Mans is to them. I am the only non-French driver in the team. I was impressed just thinking about this possibility. He said, “It’s a huge responsibility.”
The race is scheduled to take place at Le Mans on August 21-22 and will be the fourth of the WEC season. Prior to this, in addition to the Spa-Francorchamps stage, 8 hours were expected from Portimão (Portugal), on June 13, and 6 hours from Monza (Italy), on July 18. The Fuji Finals (Japan) will be 6 hours on September 26, and Bahrain will be 8 hours on November 20.
Four other Brazilians are competing in the WEC in tourist car disputes. Daniel Serra will drive one of the AF Corse, a Ferrari team from Italy, in the LMGTE Pro (Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Pro) class. The others in the section below, LMGTE: Felipe Fraga (TF Sports, from the UK), Augusto Fargus and Marcos Gomes (both NorthWest, from Canada). Both teams own cars from British construction company Aston Martin. In all, there are about a hundred pilots in the World Cup, with 27 countries represented.