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Rusinov: WEC ‘Super Season’ Opens Door for IMSA, ELMS Programs

Roman Rusinov believes reduced WEC schedule creates opportunities…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Roman Rusinov believes the FIA World Endurance Championship’s “Super Season” format for 2018-19 could open the door for teams and drivers to add programs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or European Le Mans Series.

The Russian driver, who carries the backing of national oil giant G-Drive, revealed he’s looking to take part in an additional series next year, including a potential Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup effort with a Cadillac DPi.

WEC’s radical schedule change, which sees an eight-round calendar spread over 18 months, results in only four rounds for the 2018 calendar year, which Rusinov believes creates an opportunity to explore new possibilities.

“We’re trying to evaluate all options to understand what’s the budget,” he told Sportscar365.

“If we do WEC, can we do something else together? What can we do to make a program that has a marketing plan that looks [good]?

“For sure, four races is not enough in a year, for a team and if you do a marketing program.

“It’s positive in other ways. If it opens new opportunities to do a second championship, it’s not bad.”

That new opportunity for the 2015 WEC LMP2 champion could be in IMSA, which Rusinov said he’s kept an eye on for some time.

“I had [an IMSA program] in mind at the beginning of the year,” he said. “If we didn’t have Pierre [Thiriet], I would not have done WEC, to be honest.

“If I want to do the four big races I have to take a decision in October. Then I have to decide which car and team to take and how to do it. Then you need to understand the budget.”

While racing an Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 car in the WEC, Rusinov said he would likely look to the DPi market should he be able to put together a program for the Patron Endurance Cup races.

“Probably the Cadillac [DPi] would be a good idea because it’s a good and fast car,” he said.

“What I like in DPi is that you have an LMP2 car with a different engine. If you speak about marketing, it’s for sure better to have a car with a name.

“When driving in Le Mans, people ask me what car I’m driving. I say an Oreca-Gibson. It’s hard to explain.

“When you go in DPi and say Cadillac, this is what is good to see at the end of the day.

“The DPi looks much more interesting from the marketing plan.”

Rusinov said an ELMS program is also under consideration, with his G-Drive backing already sponsoring the DragonSpeed-run Oreca, which currently leads the LMP2 championship.

“For sure I like WEC and I appreciate the people working there,” he said. “I feel part of the family but you have to understand how to put all the projects together.

“It’s quite difficult to understand what to do next year.

“If I have to sign the budget, I will sign it for the year, not the [entire WEC] championship. I would have a contract with [TDS Racing] through Dec. 31 if I continue with them.

“We have to evaluate and understand and get a lot of comments on the calendar.”

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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