The races are long, but the season is short, and 2023 had its ups and downs for the Western Endurance Racing Championship teams. In 2023 WERC racers faced off at Buttonwillow Raceway, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Utah Motorsports Campus for the Sunchaser six-hour enduro, and Sonoma Raceway.
The challenges were as great as ever, as in any form of endurance racing, whether it’s heat, heated competition or the dark of night. Here’s how the classes played out in 2023.
When one of your drivers is named Turbo — yes, for real — a team’s chances for success in racing has to rise. It just has to, right?
For 2023, Team Hippogriff Racing came out of the chutes charging hard with wins at Chuckwalla in February and Buttonwillow in April. The team also notched a second-place finish at Buttonwillow in June and two fourth-place finishes in the competitive E0 class, scoring enough points in the process to take the 2023 E0 championship.
Team Zelus came in second in points, with Team Occupy Pit lane in third.
There were four teams in E1 in 2023 that scored wins and Team Jirafa was one of them, taking the top step of the podium in April at Buttonwillow. However, it was the second-place finishes at all but one of the races in 2023 that put them over the top to take the E1 championship. The one race the team didn’t score a podium finish was one they didn’t attend.
Team Land Yacht Racing also notched one win in 2023 and finished second in the season points. Team Palomar Racing finished third.
Team Four Brothers Motorsports managed to take the 2023 E2 championship without a race win. It took the season points championship with consistency and a second-place finish at Buttonwillow in April and third-place at the Sunchaser Six-Hour in Utah.
Team ZJS Racing took second in season points in E2 with Team North Bay Bavarian finishing in third in the season championship.
Team Indotech Motorsports didn’t have much competition this year, but consistency and three race wins were good enough to get them the season points championship in E3.
Team Next Level Racing finished second in the season points race.
In E3S this year, Team Heat Wave SM, Team Lil’ Riot and Team Buzzbomb Racing all were tied for first place. The NASA CCR covers how to break ties in season points races, but none of the methods outlined in the CCR appear to alleviate the tie as it exists in 2023 in E3S. We’re not sure how it will unfold now that the season is over.
A condition at season end similar to that in E3S also exists in ES between Team Riot and Team HM Road Racing. With one win apiece and no other finishes or conditions outlined in the CCR to break the tie, the two teams are tied at 100 points apiece.
Team Rangers has third place all to itself in ES for the 2023 season.
Team Lang Racing Development finished on the podium in four of four races, which was good enough for Lang to take the 2023 ESR championship. Lang Racing Development finished second at Chuckwalla, first at Buttonwillow in April and notched a second place at Utah and a third at the season finale at Sonoma in August.
Team Intermedia Racing finished second in ESR, followed by Team Tazio Ottis Racing in third.
Team Sigier Motorsport has been the team to beat all season in GT, and when the season points were tallied, they were alone on top in GT by a wide margin. Campaigning the new KTM X-Bow GT-XR, Team Sigier Motorsport finished third at Chuckwalla behind Team PMG Awareness, improved to a second-place finish at Buttonwillow in April, took the win in June at Buttonwillow and then second place finishes at Utah and Sonoma. Their points lead at the end of the season was unbeatable and they took the GT championship.
With one win and one third-place finish to its credit, Team PMG Awareness took second in GT, followed by Team Prototype Development.