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Neveu: Prologue Date Change Likely for 2020

Prologue format, date could change to allow for “clear space” in seasons, according to WEC boss…

Photo: John Dagys

FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu has suggested that next year’s Prologue will see a date change in order to have a “clear space” between seasons.

This week’s official pre-season test, which is mandatory for all full-season WEC teams, takes place just five weeks after the 2018-19 season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans and has put competitors in a race to prepare for the upcoming season.

A number of teams have yet to finalize driver lineups, with some cars still in bare carbon liveries.

Neveu said the date for this year’s Prologue, held for the first time at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, was largely influenced by the technical requirements from the FIA and ACO to establish Equivalence of Technology and Balance of Performance parameters.

“I understand that it was clearly asked by the technical department from the FIA and ACO in order to check many things,” Neveu told Sportscar365.

“But we have to be careful also with the teams to make sure they have time to recover between two seasons.

“We will pay attention for that in the future for sure.”

Neveu hinted on a potential move to a collective test session either the weekend prior or week of the season-opening race in 2020, a format that the European Le Mans Series adopted two years ago on the grounds of cost savings.

“I heard in the past it was impossible [for the WEC] but I’m sure that it would be possible in the future. That’s clearly my vision,” he said.

“I would like to have a clear space between the end of the season and the start of the next one. I think this is for the interest of the paddock. We have to take into consideration the interests of the teams.

“I understand very well that there are some mandatory processes for the technical side but also the technical side has to adapt their schedule regarding the timing of the teams.”

Such a move would also allow manufacturers committing to the new-for-2020 Hypercar formula potentially extra development time prior to the cars’ public debuts.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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