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Formula E drivers see out WEC season in style

The 6 Hours of Bahrain brought the curtain down on the 2017 World Endurance Championship, with new champions crowned and success savoured across the board by the Formula E representation of drivers.

15 former and current electric superstars competed for endurance honours across the season, with race victories and championship titles shared across the board throughout the nine event calendar.


2017 saw the driver’s endurance crown stay with Porsche for a third consecutive season, with the #2 of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley romping to the title off the back of four consecutive victories, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Dragon Racing’s newest signing Neel Jani handed over his crown as a result but, along with Nick Tandy and Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer, guided the #1 Porsche to a highly respectable third place in the standings with podiums in all but two events.

It was a tremendous way to end one of the most dominant stints for a manufacturer in WEC, with Porsche taking three championship titles from four seasons. The German marque now leaves the series in order to focus its efforts on its upcoming Formula E programme.

A late championship surge from the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing of Formula E season two champion Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson was ultimately not enough to bring the title back to Toyota, but five wins in 2017 including the finale at Bahrain ensured second place in the championship.

It was a less successful campaign on the other side of the Toyota garage, as former FE racer Mike Conway, two-time podium finisher Jose Maria Lopez and Andretti’s latest star Kamui Kobayashi took the #7 to fourth place overall, the highlight of the season being a new track record at Le Mans for Kobayashi.


A fiercely-contested LMP2 class saw multiple Formula E drivers in action, all taking close-quarters racing to a whole new level.

The LMP2 field looked to be almost inseparable on multiple occasions throughout the year, with the six teams trading paint more times than a house decorator.

The initial favourites looked to be the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing, piloted by Panasonic Jaguar Racing reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis, who hit the ground running with three wins in the opening four races, including a nail-biting 24 Hours of Le Mans where it looked as if they may go on to take victory not just in the LMP2 class, but overall as the LMP1 runners hit problems.

It wasn’t to be for the #38 as the #2 Porsche recovered to take back the lead near the end of the race, but a class win and an overall podium at Le Mans proved to be enough euphoria to last an entire season.

Just when the title looked to be going the way of Tung, Laurent and Jarvis, the #31 Vallainte Rebellion of former Mahindra Racing driver Bruno Senna, Renault e.dams’ Nico Prost and Julien Canal found another gear and took four of the last five victories, which was enough to steal the championship from Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Officially the world championship crown goes to Senna and Canal, with Prost classified as third in LMP2 by virtue of having missed the 6 Hours of Nurburgring to attend the New York ePrix.

Competing in his first season of WEC, Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne ended the year tenth in class with a best result of third in Mexico, with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr finishing 12th having taken second place at the Circuit of the Americas.

Alex Lynn, recently promoted to a race seat at DS Virgin Racing, enjoyed a strong start to the season with the #26 G-Drive Racing as he, along with Roman Rusinov and Pierre Thiriet, took the LMP2 victory at Spa-Francorchamps to mount an early title challenge but dropped off towards the end of the season and stepped away from the team following the 6 Hours of COTA.

Finally, the season finale saw a one-off return for former WEC champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Loic Duval as he joined G-Drive Racing. A seventh place finish for the team gave Duval a point-scoring return to the series.


Formula E’s only representative in LMGTE Pro was DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird at the wheel of the #71 AF Corse, teamed with Italian racer Davide Rigon.

Class victory at Spa-Francorchamps was a welcome start to the season, but they would have to wait until Bahrain to stand on the top step again as championship honours went to the sister #51 AF Corse of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Two wins and a further two podiums ensured fifth place in the standings for Bird, but his season highlight was no doubt in parc fermé following victory at the season finale…

As one season finishes, another begins as we now look forward to the opening round of season four of the FIA Formula E Championship, which will take place in Hong Kong on 2-3 December.

Videos courtesy of FIA WEC

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.