In the past few years, the number of cars competing in the World Endurance Championship has decreased with the withdrawal of several teams, most notably Audi and now Porsche.
Both of these marquees have chosen to race in Formula E over the 24 Hours Of Le Mans to show their support for sustainable development and for cars that do not pollute the environment. As a result, the LMP1 field will only have one manufacturer left competing, with Toyota finally having a clear opportunity to win Le Mans.
In my opinion, Toyota too should pull out of the WEC after winning Le Mans and go to Formula E. This will firstly improve their reputation; they will be known as a company working for the benefit of the environment and they may also earn a great profit as Formula E is turning into a very large market for car manufacturers.
With three LMP1 privateer cars entering the grid in 2018, this is a start of a more privateer-based Le Mans, with the ACO, who organises the 24 hour race, supporting it strongly. The ACO believes that with more privateer cars, there will be greater competition as there is restriction of funds, which will prompt teams to make the best cars with the least amount of money and this looks like a very exciting prospect.
If Toyota leaves, the LMP1 privateers will have a much greater chance of winning the ‘greatest race in history’ and so, more and more people will prefer to invest into Private LMP1 teams as the chances of success are high and as a result, there will be more cars on the grid, effectively increasing competition and making the 24 Hours Of Le Mans even more exciting.
This is also supported by the rise of manufacturers in the GTE-Pro class with BMW racing the M8 GTE next season against Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Ferrari and Porsche.
The GTE-Pro class needs more manufacturers as the companies fight to prove that they make the best GT cars in the world so that they can sell them to the people. BMW is the latest company to respond to this and the prospects look exciting for the LMGTE-Pro class next season.
So, although we may think that the manufacturers leaving LMP1 is a curse, in reality, it is a big boon to the ACO and the 24 Hours Of Le Mans!
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