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  • Writer's pictureTereza Černá

A farewell to GTE


GTE Pro-Am was the GT category in the World Endurance Championship for a number of years. As of 2024, this category will be replaced by GT3. Though the reasons for this change are very straightforward and reasonable, the GTE category will be missed greatly.
 

The GTE category hosted a number of successful drivers and nursed many talents, who went on to do big things. It also saw the introduction of the Iron Dames project, an all female team racing with Ferrari, this year with Porsche.


Iron Dames have even won the finale of this year's season, the 8 hours of Bahrain. This win makes history for not only Iron Dames, but also women in motorsport as a whole. It was the first time an all female lineup won a WEC race.


Though the first female to win a WEC race, also in the GTE category, was Lilou Wadoux in the Ferrari earlier this season at the 5 hours of Spa. As a consequence, the GTE category truly was remarkable in terms of introducing powerful female talents to the world of endurance racing.


For many years Ben Keating, an astonishingly fast driver who's well into his 50s, was dominating the category in the Corvette and won the championship 2 times, Le Man's twice as well. But some chapters come to an end, including the LM-GTE category that many have learned to love.


Why is GTE ending?

GTE is ending for a number of very good reasons. The first one being, GT3 is cheaper. Operating GT3 cars is simply just way cheaper. To increase the competition in the class it's crucial to increase the number of cars, thus decreasing the funding to operate in the championship is crucial to bring more cars and seats to the grid.


Another reason is that more manufacturers make GT3 cars than GTE cars. This year, the GTE category had only three different manufacturers; Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche. Meanwhile the introduction of GT3 cars in WEC will open the gates of the championship to Mercedes, BMW, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ford and so many others.


WEC wants to limit the entries of ammateur drivers and make the championship for only top factory drivers. Which is only logical for a championship of such influence.


What is the difference between GTE and GT3?

To put it simply, GTE cars are much more complicated and harder to drive, thus making them more expensive to produce. They do not have ABS, they have a higher power and perfomance and also downforce, than a GT3 car. However, GT3 is overall a car more suitable for certain environments.


Do you think WEC is making the right decision to replace GTE with GT3?

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