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WEC Links Up with Formula V8 3.5; Details Emerge on 2017 Schedule

Formula V8 3.5 to partner WEC for at least six rounds in 2017…

Photo: FIA WEC

Photo: FIA WEC

The majority of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship is now known, following the announcement of a link-up with the new Formula V8 3.5 series, which will serve as its international support series beginning next year.

At least six of the nine Formula V8 3.5 events will take place alongside the WEC, including the rounds in Mexico, Japan, Bahrain, as well as the European races at Silverstone, Spa and Nürburgring.

It joins the previously confirmed 24 Hours of Le Mans for the WEC, which will not feature the open-wheel series.

Formula V8 3.5 organized by RPM Racing, was previously known as Formula Renault 3.5 prior to the withdrawal of the French manufacturer’s backing at the end of last year.

According to WEC boss Gerard Neveu, the addition of the open-wheel series will provide a defined career path to the LMP1, LMP2 and GTE categories of the globe-trotting sports car championship.

Additionally, the champion, runner-up and third-placed driver in Formula V8 3.5 will be invited to take part in the WEC’s end-of-year Rookie Test in Bahrain.

“It’s great news for the fans, but also for the young drivers who are the champions of the future, and the future is tomorrow,” Neveu said.

“This single-seater championship has demonstrated for many years how very appealing and exciting it can be, while at the same time providing many great champions.

“It makes sense to offer to the new generation of drivers access to a well-established championship such as the FIA WEC.

“The fact that the champions will have an opportunity to take part in the WEC’s official rookie test at the end of the season will be additional motivation and a target for everyone on the grid.”

Dates for four of the expected nine WEC rounds have already been confirmed, with Silverstone set to open the season on April 14-16, followed by Spa, provisionally listed for May 4-6, Le Mans on June 17-18 and Nürburgring on July 14-16.

It leaves Circuit of The Americas and Shanghai as the only current WEC events not yet officially confirmed for next year.

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

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rob

    July 28, 2016 at 11:26 am

    no COTA love? is this due to the back 2back IMSA/WEC races? if so, can’t they move the IMSA race to a day earlier and make the V8 happen?

    • N8

      July 28, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      There may not be a WEC round at CotA going forward if there isn’t a huge increase in promotion and ultimately, attendance for this year’s event.

    • PhilH

      July 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      COTA still seems more likely than not for ’17. But if there is any change on the calendar, COTA will be the one making way.

      Question is, what North American venue could take over, Road America, Montreal, Indianapolis?

      • Rus'L

        August 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        It’s no secret that Indy and the WEC have been talking.

    • Arthur

      August 5, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      IMSA schedule just released and shows the race at COTA to be first week in May as a stand alone race; no WEC. I figured COTA was doomed when WEC race established in Mexico. I wish the WEC would move the event to Daytona and drop COTA.

  2. guest

    July 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    COTA is horribly boring track with infinite runoffs. I hope IMSA switches it for Mid-Ohio.

  3. NaBUru38

    July 28, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Formula V8 3.5 had 13 entries at Silversone. Hopefully this partnership improves it and helps F1 / GP2 rejects to become sports car professionals. But having these long flights will be rather expensive.

  4. Mustard

    July 30, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Montreal…guaranteed packed house. Plus the parties on Rue St.catherines would be epic!

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