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WEC's return to Interlagos plunged into doubt

WEC's return to Interlagos plunged into doubt
Nov 11, 2019, 9:54 AM

The Interlagos round of this season's FIA World Endurance Championship in Brazil next February is in doubt.

Series boss Gerard Neveu has warned WEC teams that he has worries about whether the race set for February 1 at the home of the Brazilian Grand Prix will go ahead.

He explained that the promoter of the event, N/Duduch Motorsports, was contractually "late in different parameters" with less than three months to go before the revival of the Sao Paulo 6 Hours that was last held in 2014 (pictured top).

Neveu explained that issues with the promoter were at least partially of a financial nature.

"If you don't have any Euros in your account, it's really a concern," he said. "You don't have any guarantee they will deliver properly the set-up of the event you're looking for."

He stressed that it was important to give the teams an advance warning about the uncertainty over Interlagos so they could slow down their preparations for the event. 

Neveu was adamant that the WEC still wanted Brazil back on the calendar, saying: "We sincerely hope we will go in Brazil: we have worked very hard with the local team on this."

A final decision on whether the Interlagos event will go ahead was promised by Neveu before the end of November.

"When you want to deliver an event properly on the first weekend of February, you must be on the finish line a few weeks before," he said.

"When we arrive in Bahrain [for the next round of the WEC on December 14], I do not want any discussion about this."

He explained that the WEC would attempt to replace the Brazilian event should it be cancelled and stated that he was already working on alternatives. 

Neveu denied that the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas was the only viable host venue for an event that takes place less than two months before the Sebring WEC round in Florida on March 20 that wouldn't involve a significant increase in travel costs. 

Any replacement will not take place any earlier than Interlagos' February date in order not to interfere with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on January 25/26.

The WEC and N/Duduch have an initial one-year contract for the race in Sao Paulo with options for a further two seasons. 

Neveu has stated that he plans to unveil a first draft of the 2020/21 WEC calendar over the course of the Bahrain weekend next month.

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About this article

Series WEC
Event COTA Tickets
Author Gary Watkins