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Preview: 6 hours of São Paulo

Text: Rick Kiewiet

Images: Rick Kiewiet, Interlagos

This weekend, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) heads to the iconic Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil, for the 6 Hours of São Paulo. Known for its challenging layout and enthusiastic local fans, Interlagos is back on the calendar for the first time since 2014. The race in Brazil kicks off the second part of the season, which consists of 4 races: after São Paulo, we head towards COTA, Fuji and Bahrain.

It will be interesting to see weather Ferrari's Le Mans win is another one off: last season, they failed to win a race before or after the French enduro classic. The competition, Porsche, Cadillac, seem to have caught up with the 499p in terms of outright speed, can the Ferrari stay at the front?

Despite a win in Imola (won on strategy, not outright speed) and a strong performance at Le Mans, Toyota will also look to return as a consistent front-runner. Porsche and Cadillac still look fast, and they might have a slight advantage in shorter races.

The Balance of Performance (BoP) adjustments leading into São Paulo have stirred the competition. Ferrari's 499P receives the most significant changes, with a 17kg weight increase following their win at Le Mans. The Ferrari now weighs in at 1060kg, the same weight as Toyota's GR010, which was dealt an additional 7kg after Le Mans.

9kg is added to Porsche's 963 LMDh and 4kg to Peugeot's 9X8, both weighing 1051kg now.

There are also a couple of changes in maximum power, mostly slight, with the biggest increase for the Cadillac (10kw to 519kw total)

After Le Mans, the BMW M4 GT3 is dealt no less than 22kg extra weight. The next biggest increase, for the Lamborhini, is only 14kg, followed by the Mustang (13kg) and the Corvette (11kg). The Lamborghini is now the heaviest car on track at 1369kg, while the Porsche 911, the winner of Le Mans, is still the lightest with 1330kg. However, the 911's still have to carry around their success ballast, which is an additional 45kg for the #92 and 20 for the #91.

Mike Conway returns in the #7 Toyota, after recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in (a biking accident in) Le Mans.His replacement, Jose Maria Lopez, steps back in the Lexus RC F GT3.

Race Details

The 6 Hours of São Paulo is set to begin at 11:30 local time (15.30 BST) on Sunday. This event marks a critical point in the championship, with teams striving for consistency and performance. Fans can expect a mix of strategic pit stops, tire management, and intense on-track battles across the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes.

With the latest BoP adjustments, driver changes, and the ever-present threat of unpredictable weather, the 2024 6 Hours of São Paulo promises to deliver an exciting and unpredictable race. Teams will need to adapt swiftly to the evolving conditions and strategic challenges posed by the Interlagos circuit. As the WEC season progresses, every point gained or lost in São Paulo could be crucial in the fight for the championship.


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