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WEC expects Sebring 2020 news "very quickly"

WEC expects Sebring 2020 news "very quickly"
Co-author: Gary Watkins
Mar 16, 2019, 3:56 PM

FIA World Endurance Championship boss Gerard Neveu says he expects news on whether the series can race at Sebring again in 2020 to arrive "very quickly".

A provisional 2019/20 WEC calendar revealed last year had the Sebring 1000 Miles listed for an unconfirmed date in March 2020, pending the renewal of what was originally a one-year deal for the series to share the bill with the IMSA Sebring 12 Hours.

In a press conference held on Friday ahead of the start of this year's Sebring race, Neveu said all that is required for the 2020 edition to be confirmed is IMSA's blessing.

"It’s a good demonstration that when we are looking in the same direction, sharing the same interests, we can provide something very serious and very attractive for the fans," said Neveu.

"From our point of view, it’s clearly a wish [to continue], because we feel this is a profitable model.

"But this is not our home. We are in the U.S., IMSA’s home, so if IMSA is ready to welcome us next year, then yes, this is the plan from our side. This is the wish."

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Neveu added he expects the matter to be resolved "very quickly", with an announcement likely "in the coming days".

IMSA President Scott Atherton was positive about how well sharing the bill with WEC had gone.

"No doubt it has worked and exceeded all our expectations," said Atherton.

"There is a lot of debriefing to be done, but as a first-time endeavour the two sides have worked extremely well together.

"A lot of hard work has gone into making it work, particularly on the part of the Sebring staff."

Neveu insisted the majority of WEC teams were supportive of the Florida event continuing, despite the costs associated with the trip proving higher than anticipated.

"We cannot control 90 percent of the increase in costs," he said. "We are not responsible for the cost of the hotels or the rental of all the different material you need here.

"This is the price you have to accept for a success. If you go to Le Mans, you pay a high cost for the hotels and all the things you are doing around.

"When you go to Shanghai, for example, you can find a better price. This is the same all the time. The value of the event justifies the price you have to pay."

Neveu contrasted the success of the Sebring event, which has attracted record crowds for the 2019 edition, with the previous US round of the WEC at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin that was last held in 2017.

"We knew Sebring is the place for the sportscars," Neveu said. "We tried to do the same in Austin, which is a very good facility, but with no history of sportscar [racing] before.

"When you want to create a story like this, you have to use an original platform with a story behind [it], or it takes a long time."

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Photo by: JEP / LAT Images

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About this article

Series WEC
Event Sebring
Author Jamie Klein