Delay to 2020 WEC Sebring Race Announcement a Cause for Concern

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The 2020 1,000 Miles of Sebring could be in danger of being dropped from the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship calendar.
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

A delay to the confirmation of the 2020 FIA World Endurance Championship 1,000 Miles of Sebring may suggest that the race could be in danger of being removed from the 2019/20 WEC calendar.

The largest crowd in the history of racing at the Sebring International Speedway turned up to the double bill of races mid-March, making the shared event look like a great success. WEC had expressed their happiness with sharing the event on the morning of their Friday race day, with Gerard Neveu declaring that they were only waiting on IMSA to agree to them returning next year to confirm the race on their 2019/20 calendar.

The announcement, that should have been received a few days after the chequered flag of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s 12 Hours of Sebring, has still not been confirmed, leading to concern over whether the race will be featured on the WEC calendar next season.

“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 in favour of keeping the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on the WEC calendar. “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 US, 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.”

If the 1,000 Miles of Sebring is dropped from the 2019/20 calendar, there would be a gap of three months in the calendar between the 6 Hours of Brazil to the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. It would be assumed that WEC would want to fill this gap with another race, but with the new season starting in just under five months, it may be difficult to find a race to fill this gap.

A gap of this size would make the championship feel broken up and divide the season at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (as the Belgium race is usually used for Le Mans tests and set up).

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