FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu is adamant that its race at Sebring will go ahead as planned, despite increasing doubts over the event’s logistics and feasibility.
The March 2019 race, planned as a double-header weekend with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, is set to feature a 1,500-mile WEC round following the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Questions over paddock and pit lane space, particularly in the planned two-hour transition period from the end of the IMSA race to the start of the WEC round around midnight, has raised questions whether it could be effectively pulled off.
Neveu, however, said the challenges presented at Sebring are similar to those they faced at Circuit of The Americas in 2014, in the first same-day WEC/IMSA double-header race.
“I’m sure we can do it,” Neveu told Sportscar365. “When you start to do something different, people are always concerned.
“I remember when we went to COTA together, everyone said it would be impossible to remove the pit wall to do everything, it would be impossible to race together [on the same weekend].
“Honestly, if we want to do it, we can do it. I can’t see why this is so impossible.
“We will have this incredible chance to propose for the American fans a double race in the same weekend, a double big event.”
Neveu and ACO President Pierre Fillon met with representatives from IMSA and Sebring International Raceway last month at Daytona, with the WEC logistics team set to attend the 12-hour race in March to continue preparations.
“We had meetings with Wayne [Estes, track president] and the people from Sebring,” Neveu said. “You will see a serious delegation of operational guys from WEC in Sebring this year, just to set up everything.
“We are working very well on that. This is already on the table. You will see many people in Sebring this year to work on it and check all the details.”
While rumors of a new, seperate pit lane for WEC competitors had surfaced, track president Wayne Estes told Sportscar365 it’s not an option.
Estes said plans for a new crossover bridge on the Ulmann Straight, to help expand competitor parking, has been put on hold for the time being.
Both Neveu and Estes indicated that compromises will have to be made with pit lane setups, in order to accommodate both IMSA and WEC teams during the weekend.
“I’m sure we will find a solution and we will be able to share the pit lane,” Neveu said. “I believe that the people from Porsche, all the GTE teams will be able to share together.
“We have to try to be creative. It will be [a big], a strong effort, but there are a lot of professional people in IMSA and I believe there is a good team also in WEC.
“I don’t see any reason why we cannot do it to achieve it.”