Sebring FIA WEC race moved to Friday in revised 1000-mile format

by Nathan Hine
Sebring 2018

Round six of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship at Sebring has moved from Saturday 16 March 2019 to Friday 15 March, and the race has been shortened from 1500 miles to 1000 miles following a change to the weekend format. This sees the race run prior to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring which will run on Saturday morning.

Where initially the WEC race was set to get underway around 12 a.m. on the Sunday following the conclusion of the Twelve Hours of Sebring, the race will now run for 1000 miles or a maximum of eight hours, beginning on Friday afternoon.

At the same time, the paddock will use a separate, newly installed pit lane adjacent to the Ulmann Straight. This will allow a smoother, faster transition between on-track sessions for the WEC round and the IMSA cars as part of this round of the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship round.

This change was made following a visit to Sebring by WEC and IMSA officials last month, including WEC CEO Gerard Neveu, “Everyone went in to the meeting with a willingness to find a solution which worked well for all of us, knowing that some flexibility would be required on both sides, and the key points such as the schedule and the pit lane and paddock were agreed very quickly.” 

IMSA President Scott Atherton meanwhile said this about the agreement made, “There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the initial announcement of this combined event, but we always believed we could all find solutions to the many questions and challenges that needed to be addressed to host two world-class events on one weekend.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we know this spirit of cooperation will continue as we complete the process of planning what promises to be an unprecedented showcase of sports car endurance racing for the fans – and competitors in each championship.”

Now we will have to wait to see how the event unfolds, but with long-term planning in place there is no reason why this won’t be a success.

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