The GTE class of the FIA World Endurance Championship has been granted World Championship status by the FIA ahead of the 2017 season.
Through the first five seasons of the WEC, official World Championship titles were only afforded to the winning drivers and team in the LMP1 class.
However, following a push for recognition of the class by the series officials, the GTE Pro class – which has been a ‘World Cup’ up to now – will now also become a World Championship.
The decision was confirmed by the FIA following the latest meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Vienna.
“The World Motor Sport Council approved the proposal to upgrade the status of the GTE class. This class has previously been run as a World Cup within the WEC,” a statement from the FIA reads.
“From 2017, the new title will be the FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE Drivers and Manufacturers.
“This has been decided due to the increase of GTE manufacturer involvement in the Championship, as well as improvements in professionalism and car performance.”
The WMSC also approved the decision to freeze the technical regulations for the LMP1 class of the WEC until the end of the 2019 season.
“The Technical Regulations originally scheduled to be introduced for the LMP1-Hybrid class in 2018, have now been postponed until 2020,” the statement read.
“As a result, the 2017 Technical Regulations will be enforced for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.”