Two-time FIA WEC World Champion and 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Mike Conway, will kick start the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship this week with the season-opening 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Contesting his ninth season with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the World Endurance Championship, Mike will join Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the #7 GR010 HYBRID for their fifth consecutive season as teammates.
The season-opening 1000-mile race, which runs over eight hours, at Sebring presents a unique challenge to drivers and cars with its bumpy and unforgiving track surface leaving no room for error.
This year sees the biggest top-category grid for a WEC season-opener since the series was relaunched in 2012, with new Hypercar rivals Cadillac, Ferrari, Porsche and Vanwall lining up, along with established competitors Glickenhaus and Peugeot.
Mike and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing kicked off preparations at Sebring by setting the Prologue pace with the #7 GR010 HYBRID finishing top of the combined timings sheets after 12-and-a-half hours of running this past weekend.
Practice for the 1000 Miles of Sebring begins on Wednesday with two one-hour practice sessions, followed by a final 60-minute practice on Thursday. The starting grid will be determined during a 15-minute qualifying on Thursday evening as the sun sets in central Florida, with the race beginning at midday local time on Friday.
"It’s exciting to start the season, particularly at Sebring which is such a cool track. There’s a great atmosphere with all the American fans and this year it will be more special than ever with so many Hypercars on the grid. Everyone involved in endurance racing is excited to see how it will unfold this year; we’re all expecting a great battle and we’ll get the first taste of it in Sebring. With all its history, it’s the perfect place to kick off and I’m sure it will be a fantastic show.
We had a pretty solid two days in the Prologue. We had a big list of tasks to get through, comparing set-ups, tyres and testing different things. I feel like we achieved a lot, we learned a lot and it all went quite smoothly. We have just been focusing on our programme and everything seemed to go well in terms of our pace. It’s hard to say how the competition is looking at the moment. We’re looking only at ourselves and it has been positive across the two cars. It has been an important two days and we are as ready as we can be.”
1000 MILES OF SEBRING
WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH
PRACTICE 1: 10:55 - 11:55
PRACTICE 2: 16:35 - 17:35
THURSDAY 16 MARCH
PRACTICE 3: 11:55 - 12:55
QUALIFYING: 18:30 - 19:35
FRIDAY 17 MARCH
1000 MILES OF SEBRING: 12:00 - 20:00
Local times (GMT-4)