Friday 15 September 2017

FIA WEC: Silverstone added to the 2018/19 "super season" schedule

The FIA WEC announced its final calendar for the 2018/2019 Super Season, which will kick off with the Prologue at Paul Ricard (France) in April 2018 and finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019.  The major change compared to the original schedule is the removal of the race in February 2019 and the return of Silverstone. The original date for the 6 Hours of Fuji has alse been changed to avoid the clash with Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

When President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Pierre Fillon, and CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), GĂ©rard Neveu, outlined the pathway to the new-look championship two weeks ago, they outlined several pivotal philosophies around which all decisions would be made. Among these was that the major focus for the WEC remained the competitors – both major manufacturers and privateer entrants, the product in terms of the sporting competition delivered at every event, and the fans.

The WEC management has listened intently to both its competitors and fans in the weeks since the announcement in Mexico City, and is now in a position to issue a final calendar for the 2018/19 ‘Super Season’ which will begin in April next year.

The final calendar for the WEC’s transitional 2018/19 season will see a return of the 6 Hours of Silverstone, on 18/19 August. This replaces the 2019 February TBC date previously announced, and will undoubtedly delight British manufacturer Aston Martin Racing, the many UK-based teams and drivers, and thousands of passionate Anglophile fans of endurance racing.

The Silverstone event will be run in conjunction with a round of the European Le Mans Series, the full calendar for which will be announced in Spa, Belgium next week.

In view of the WEC’s partnership with IMSA, it was regrettable to have had a clash between Petit Le Mans, one of the key dates in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship calendar, and the 6 Hours of Fuji.  Thanks now to the flexibility and graciousness of Fuji International Speedway, the WEC is now pleased to announce that the date for the Japanese round of the championship has been changed to 20/21 October to avoid the clash. 

This date change has also affected the date of the Shanghai round due to the time required to transport the freight from Japan to China and the 6 Hours of Shanghai will take place on 17/18 November.

2018/19 Calendar : 

6 & 7 April:  The Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA)                         
5 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
16 & 17 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
19 August: 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR)
21 October: 6 Hours of Fuji (JPN)
18 November: 6 Hours of Shanghai (CHN)
16 & 17 March 2019: 2 Hours of Sebring (USA)
4 May 2019: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
15 &16 June 2019: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)

At this time, the race in Sebring is still scheduled to run from midnight to 12h on Sunday, starting 2 hours after the IMSA Sebring 12 Hours. It is believed that this still might be up for discussion. 

Kristof Vermeulen.