WEC Pledges No Sebring Clash
|09/15/2012||Posted by under Carburetor Parts|
Next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship schedule ‘will allow teams to contest the Sebring 12 Hours, should the classic sportscar fixture not feature on the series’ calendar. WEC boss Gerard Neveu made the pledge amid mounting speculation that Sebring will be dropped as the US round in favour of a race at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin!
At the same time, Neveu refused to confirm that Sebring will disappear from the schedule next year. Neveu told AUTOSPORT: “If we don’t go to Sebring, we win have a calendar that will allow teams to do it.” When asked specifically whether the American Le Mans Series blue-riband would disappear from the calendar, Neveu said: “I will not announce the calendar until September. The US will be on the calendar, but we need the best compromise for everyone.”
Sebring has been used as a warm -up for the Le Mans 24 Hours by a number of teams and manufacturers. Audi continued to field cars in the 12 Hours after it withdrew from the ALMS and before the race became a round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Accommodating the ALMS and WEC entries at Sebring is the major obstacle in the way of a combined race, despite an increase in the capacity of the pitlane to 64 cars for this year. At the same time, the FIA believes that world championship events should be standalone.
Neveu also denied that there were plans to expand the WEC from this year’s eight races to nine next season. A race at Buddh in India and an event in Russia are believed to be under discussion. “We have to consider the economic situation, which means that eight races is probably the best way, but we don’t want to drop a race,” he said. “My main concern for next year is to reduce transportation costs for the teams.”
Neveu and his team will take over the running of the European Le Mans Series from. Patrick Peter’s Peter Auto organisation Neveu said it was a common- sense move to link the organisation of the two series. It is unlikely that any ELMS events will race on the same grid as the WEC, but Neveu said that it is possible that the two series could Face on the same weekend. “We know that it is difficult to have them in the same race because we probably can’t accommodate 60 cars on the grid, but why not on the same weekend?” he said.”We could have one race on the Saturday and one on Sunday.We are exploring this, not only for Europe.”