Former FIA World Endurance LMP2 Champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Ricardo Gonzalez is the man behind the project that will bring the WEC to Mexico City for the first time later this year.
Revealed during Tuesday’s episode of Sportscar365’s Double Stint Podcast, Gonzalez confirmed his company, Invicta, is serving as the promoter of the Sept. 1-3 event at the newly upgraded Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Gonzalez, who has also recently launched his new WEC LMP2 team, RGR Sport by Morand, has played a large part in securing the WEC race on the calendar, in a process that dated back to an initial meeting with WEC CEO Gerard Neveu and Gonzalez’s manager Toni Calderon last May.
“My first role was to get together the important people of WEC with the important people of OCESA, which is the largest company in Latin America doing events,” Gonzalez explained in an exclusive interview on Double Stint.
“When I started getting everybody together, we had a couple of meetings and I realized that if my role was not more involved in the project that it was going to end up as [just] a great idea and no event.
“That’s when I started to put a little more [commitment] on my side as the promoter and take a little bit more of a risk and just push forward to make sure the event could happen in Mexico.”
While announced in September, the contract to formally host the race was signed two months later, which has since sent off a series of meetings, both from Gonzalez’s company, as well as OCESA and the WEC.
Key representatives from all three organizations met last week at the circuit to continue the planning process.
“I think everything is moving along quite well,” Gonzalez said. “I’m taking the role as the promoter, having OCESA behind me co-promoting.
“They have all the experience of running F1 in Mexico, which we all saw in all sorts of media across the world, was a big success. That for me is good news.
“I’m really happy to be working with WEC. They just visited Mexico a week ago to jump start the whole program and to go through the handbook to make sure everything is running well.
“For me, it was a really good experience because they’re really well-organized and they’re bringing all of their expertise from racing in other places in the world. They’re kind of giving us a bible of what we need to do. That’s really good news.
“Now we have to pay a lot of attention to that and time, because even though it seems like the event is far away, with the amount of work that we have, it’s not that far away.”
There’s high hopes for the event, which will mark the return of international sports car racing to the circuit for the first time in 25 years, with an anticipated race-day attendance of 60,000 spectators in its first year.
“We’re going to be analyzing how ticket sales go once we start selling in March,” Gonzalez said. “Maybe there will be a possibility of growing into a larger audience.
“But we want to move along slowly and make sure everything we do is solid and then we’ll have two more years to make the event bigger.”
Gonzalez said the finalization of the Mexico City round actually led to the formation of RGR Sport, which will see the 38-year-old Mexican be joined by Bruno Senna and Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque, in what’s shaping up to be a busy season ahead on multiple fronts.
“It’s important because having the race in Mexico gives us the opportunity to build everything that we built around WEC this year,” he said. “Our sponsors and how the sport is going to grow with teenagers and younger guys here in Mexico and Latin America.
“This is going to open doors to other Mexicans and other drivers from Latin America to have a successful program in WEC.”
Click Here to listen to the full exclusive interview with Gonzalez, who also discusses the formation of his new team.