Andre Lotterer believes Le Mans is the only race privateer teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship's LMP1 class stand a chance of winning through the upcoming 'super season', as he expects Toyota to "just be cruising" at the other circuits.

Toyota will be the sole manufacturer racing in the WEC's premier class in the 2018/19 'super season' following Porsche's withdrawal from the category, but will be joined by a number of new privateer operations.

Officials from the WEC and Automobile Club de l'Ouest have tweaked the rules for LMP1 in a bid to create closer competition between the manufacturer and privateer teams, with the likes of Rebellion Racing, Manor, SMP Racing and DragonSpeed set to try and take the fight to Toyota.

Despite these efforts, Lotterer is sceptical any of the privateer teams will be able to fight for victory at the WEC rounds, leaving Le Mans as the only race where victory is possible due to the higher chances of reliability issues, as seen in 2017 when all three Toyota cars hit trouble and finished behind a number of LMP2 runners.

Asked if Toyota would walk LMP1, Lotterer told Crash.net: "Yeah, on the WEC tracks, pretty much, because there hasn’t been anything really done.

"I don’t know how that will look on TV and how people will like it. The people on top should decide that for themselves. It’s important to keep Toyota on board, but the show is important as well.

"So let’s see. But the numbers are looking interesting. It’s a shame that the Toyotas will just be cruising.

"Le Mans is the one race where I think that category has a shot."

After spending the last seven years racing with manufacturers Audi and Porsche at Le Mans, Lotterer will link up with Rebellion for the 2018/19 'super season' as part of the Swiss team's two-car line-up.

The German is also currently racing in Formula E with Techeetah and remains under contract as a Porsche factory driver, for whom he will enter the Nürburgring 24 Hours later this year.

 

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