WEC set to move Spa race to avoid Formula E clash
The Spa round of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season is set to be brought forward a week in a move that will avert a clash with the new Seoul Formula E event.
WEC boss Gerard Neveu told Motorsport.com that he is working to move the Spa round of the 2019/20 championship from May 2 to April 25, but stressed that the switch was not only to remove one of three conflicts between the two calendars as they stand.
"I will make the necessary arrangements to move Spa one week earlier and that is now under way," he said. "We feel this is better for Spa because we heard there are other media events in motorsport around in the same period, so this is more comfortable for everyone."
Neveu did state that he wanted to "protect the livelihoods of the drivers and the engineers involved in both championships".
Sam Bird is one of a number of drivers affected by the calendar issues. Ferrari has said that the Virgin FE driver will not be be able to continue as part of its regular WEC GTE Pro squad if there are multiple clashes.
Neveu expressed disappointment that the season six FE calendar presented to last month's FIA World Motor Sport Council included three clashes with the WEC calendar published in August 2018.
He stated that FE had ignored an agreement between the two series to coordinate their calendars.
"We published our calendar one year in advance and stayed available to discuss it," he said. "Never did we have a call or a discussion."
Neveu made reference to comments made by FE deputy CEO Alberto Longo last month that the FIA's electric-vehicle series wasn't going to move its dates.
"I read that they say they don't care; that is not a vision we share," he said.
Neveu made it clear that the WEC cannot move the Bahrain round in December that clashes with a TBC on the FE schedule, or the Sebring 8 Hours on the same March weekend as the Chinese FE fixture.
But the likely shift of the Spa date could mean that all the WEC/FE clashes in 2019/20 are averted.
It is understood that discussions to move the Chinese FE round, which is increasingly likely to again take place in the Sanya, forward by one week to March 14 are underway.
The TBC, which could potentially be a continuation of the existing Marrakesh event, could either move or disappear from the calendar.
WEC Prologue: Lopez tops first session for Toyota
Nasr unsure on Rebellion WEC race seat chances