The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship begins its eight-race global tour with this weekend’s Qatar Airways Qatar 1218km (race begins 3am ET on Saturday, March 2). It’s set to be a must-see season for endurance racing’s pinnacle series, and here are just six reasons why you shouldn’t miss a moment…

1. It’s the deepest field in the championship’s 12-year existence.

The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship’s full-season entry list features 37 cars across its two-class structure, with 19 cars in the headlining Hypercar class, a record for the series. It promises to be the most competitive season of racing yet. But it’s not just the depth, it’s the sheer variety that’s special, too.

Nine factory programs from Alpine, BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari, Isotta Fraschini, Lamborghini, Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota are all set to do battle in the Hypercar class. And the grid is further bolstered by four privateer entries.

Add to that list the nine marques represented in the new-for-2024 LMGT3 class, and you have 14 different manufacturers on show, with Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Lexus and McLaren adding to the makes represented across both categories. That’s a record, too – no FIA World Championship has ever played host to as many OEMs before.

2. There are three brand-new Hypercars joining the fray

This year’s FIA WEC paddock is packed with brand-new machinery. With the LMP2 and GTE Am classes retired, the Hypercar and LMGT3 fields are fit to burst with cars making their debuts in the series.

Beyond the BMW M Hybrid V8, which is new to the WEC, but spent 2023 racing in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTP class, three all-new Hypercars are competing this year. All make their global race debuts this weekend in Qatar.

The first is the stunning Alpine A424 (above), which the French marque hopes will deliver its first victory at Le Mans since the Renault Alpine A442B’s triumph back in 1978.

The second is Lamborghini’s SC63. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the world-famous Italian performance marque’s new prototype, which is powered by a roaring 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 that will quickly become a sonic favorite for fans trackside.

And finally, adding to Hypercar’s Italian flavor, is revived manufacturer Isotta Fraschini. Once a Targa Florio-winning name in the early years of the 20th century, it’s back producing road cars and racing at the highest level, assisted by longtime Ferrari racecar constructor Michelotto.

3. The race to catch Hypercar top dog Toyota is heating up

Toyota has dominated the FIA WEC in the Hypercar era, but could that be about to change? Never before has the competition for the Japanese marque been stronger.

It will not be easy for the field of brand-new and maturing machinery to match the most refined car on the grid, the Toyota GR010 HYBRID (above, with a new-for-2024 look), now in its fourth year of competition. But as Ferrari AF Corse proved last year at the centenary running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, anything is possible in endurance racing at this level.

Last year’s WEC campaign emerged as a Toyota vs. Ferrari battle, with Cadillac, Peugeot and Porsche each showing glimpses of what’s to come. But 2024 promises to be a different story, with those glimpses potentially turning into season-long challenges from last year’s chasing pack.

Cadillac’s growling V-Series.R brings momentum and experience from its title-winning 2023 IMSA GTP season, while Porsche’s Penske-run 963 has proved it can go the distance by winning IMSA’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in the build-up to the WEC’s Qatar kick-off. Peugeot’s 9X8 often flattered to deceive last season, but don’t let its recent form fool you. From Imola’s second round onward, a radically new aerodynamic concept for the car is expected to debut, boosting the team’s ambitions.4

4. It’s a new era for GT racing on the world stage 

The introduction of LMGT3 to the FIA WEC for 2024 brings with it so much promise. Nine manufacturers and 11 customer teams are set to do battle, headlined by three brand-new cars in the shape of the Aston Martin Vantage LMGT3, Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R and Ford Mustang LMGT3 (above)

, all fresh from their global debuts at Daytona’s IMSA curtain-raiser in January. This gives the championship more production-based depth than ever before.

Visually, the variety on display stands out, with each of the nine manufacturers bringing two cars apiece, operated by some of the world’s best customer teams and driven by an elite field of top-level pro drivers racing alongside their highly-motivated (and mandatory) amateur teammates.

But the incredible soundtrack is arguably where this category will shine, with so many new engine notes adding to the mechanical symphony. Across the field there’ll be six-, eight- and 10-cylinder music emanating from front-, mid- and rear-engine cars, and all adding to the sensory spectacle for fans following races both on TV and trackside.

5. Rossi and Button headline a galaxy of new stars

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi (above) and 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button are the cherries on top of the multi-tier cake that is a 37-car field loaded with winners of some of the biggest races and titles in the world.

The stats are mind-boggling. Across the pool of talent on show, there are 14 drivers with F1 starts, 22 previous FIA WEC title winners, and 16 world champions across the WEC and other disciplines, with 41 titles between them.

There’s little doubt that Button and Rossi will draw even more new eyes to sports car racing’s premier championship, and rest assured these guys aren’t there just to make up the numbers.

Button, already with WEC prototype experience on his resume, joins the Hypercar field for the first time with the highly ambitious Hertz Team JOTA P orsche squad, while nine-time two-wheeled world champion (seven at the highest MotoGP level) Rossi brings with him a legion of fans who can’t wait to see if he can continue his championship-winning ways on four wheels. This year, the Italian moves up the WEC already with race-winning experience of the BMW Team WRT squad and the M4 LMGT3 he’ll drive.

6. The WEC App experience will be better than ever

If you want the very best, most immersive experience following the FIA World Endurance Championship action, the newly-updated, better-than-ever 2024 WEC App has got you covered.

The WEC App is available for smartphones and tablets (with IOS and Android) and online via fiawec.tv, as well as on Smart TVs with the Chromecast function.

With world-class commentary from trackside and pit lane and enhanced live timing, WEC Free Practice 3, Qualifying and all the races* are available, together with access to live onboard cameras.

If you miss any of the action live, there are replays of all sessions and races, plus the latest championship news, driver and team information, and access to hours of on-demand archive race footage – all available from your laptop, desktop or mobile device, or to enjoy streamed to your TV.

Want to try before you buy?

You can! Free Practice 3 is available to watch for free, and there’s free audio-only commentary of every Qualifying and all of the races, too.

To download the 2024 WEC App, just head to discover.fiawec.tv.

* Video geo-restriction rules apply in the USA and Canada for the Lone Star Le Mans race at the Circuit of The Americas and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.