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Author Topic: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC  (Read 957 times)

Offline cosworth151

FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
« on: September 04, 2017, 02:39:45 PM »
  • Publish
  • The FIA announced the new schedule for the World Endurance Championship. There are a couple of good things in it. The rest, in true FIA fashion, range from very stupid all the way to WTF.

    Good news: COTA and Bahrain are gone. A 12 hour race at Sebring is back.

    Bad news: Silverstone, Mexico City & the Nurburgring are gone.

    WTF news: The 12 hour race of Sebring won't be The 12 Hours of Sebring. It will be another 12 hour race on the same week-end. It will start around midnight, about 2 hours after the real 12 Hours of Sebring ends. Only the Fools In Authority could come up with that one! Sebring & LeMans will no longer be double points.

    Also, the season will not be 18 months long, with LeMans run twice:

    5 & 6 April                  The Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard     France
    4 & 5 May                WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps     Belgium
    16 & 17 June            24 Hours of Le Mans    France
    13 & 14 October        6 Hours of Fuji    Japan
    03 & 04 November    6 Hours of Shanghai    China
    February 2019          To be decided    
    15 & 16 March 2019  12 Hours of Sebring    United States
    3 & 4 May 2019        WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps     Belgium
    15 & 16 June 2019    24 Hours of Le Mans    France

    When the FIA first got its claws into the series five years ago, I knew it would be a disaster. Even I never foresaw anything this ridiculous.


    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 08:28:54 PM »
  • Publish
  • Sebring wasn't even on the WEC calendar before this point (except in 2012, where the racing was exciting but the organisation disastrous). They're only teaming up again because COTA didn't work financially for the FIA (under 10,000 tickets sold each race).

    Sadly, the WEC insists on being a headline event (due to the world bit). I think having the WEC be a 12-hour warm-up act for the IMSA Sebring 12 Hours would have been fantastic for both series and also for spectators. Obviously, in this configuration most people will go home after IMSA, through a combination of exhaustion and considering (rightly) that IMSA is the real headliner here.

    The 18-month super-season is a total pig's ear. It barely meets the requirements for the "World" designation (and certainly not the version F1 has to meet, due to not having 8 rounds in a single calendar year).

    It could be worse, though. I believe Mexico is one of the venues vying for the February slot (the others are all in the Middle East), so we may get it back. Silverstone is in discussions to be on the 2019/2020 calendar (the reason the 2018 calendar is 18 months is to get a relatively smooth transition into a "winter" calendar, that goes August-June each year and ends in Le Mans). The reason for the "winter" calendar? To stop the tendency each year of teams breaking their promises to ACO and FIA of completing their season of international racing after doing Le Mans. It's harder to do that if Le Mans is at the end of the "European sportscar season" (I assume IMSA will continue to use the calendar system, but ELMS, as an unofficial feeder to WEC, will also switch to the winter system... ...but it was European teams that tended to quit after Le Mans, barring excusable reasons like chassis damage).
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 08:42:40 PM »
  • Publish
  • Just my point. Sebring ran as part of the series fine during the old ACO-run International LeMans Cup days. The problems only came (as they always do) with the arrival of the FIA.

    The FIA race won't be a warm up for The 12 Hours of Sebring. It will begin two hours after the race ends. It will run from midnight to noon on Sunday. It's primary function will be to give the revelers in Green Park 12 more hours to sleep it off.  ;)

    I wonder what the FIA's explanation will be if fans are streaming out of the gates as there race starts.
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 07:35:22 PM »
  • Publish
  • Sebring worked the one time it was in the ILMC because, as it was an intercontinental series, it was permissible to simply run each individual race under its "home" series' rules. It is against FIA regulations to do that with a world series, with only Le Mans getting a waiver (on the grounds that a world endurance series without Le Mans could not exist, if Le Mans still had a race).

    This is why the WEC/ALMS Sebring of 2012 had to run to two different regulations, though they ran the cars on the same track at the same time. This had two problems:

    1) different admin requirements meant nobody in officialdom knew quite what was happening at key points of the race (the lowlight was taking an hour to do the podium ceremonies, even though only 9 trophies were awarded).

    2) the GTE-Pro battle between the lead ALMS and lead WEC car was really exciting to watch during the last few laps... ...then on Turn 5 of the last lap, some car 80 laps off of the lead of that class which shall remain nameless the WEC #51 AF Corse driven by Gimmi Bruni inexplicably decided it could unlap itself and get classified in the race (it was wrong on both counts, thanks to an epic misunderstanding of the laws of physics and both rulebooks). The resulting collision caused a lot of bad feeling in the paddock, accusations of cheating and the offending car to be disqualified for an event it was already unclassified in. The ALMS brigade were not amused.

    In other news, the WEC has seen fit to put a Silverstone race into the calendar next summer, the weekend of August 18 (which is the week before Silverstone's MotoGP). I am now awaiting the sales of tickets and also for my favoured hotel to accept bookings.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 07:37:31 PM by Alianora La Canta »
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 04:59:46 PM »
  • Publish
  • Which is exactly why the FIA needs to go away. They bring nothing positive to the sport. All they bring is a massive, rigid bureaucracy.
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 12:32:00 PM »
  • Publish
  • And the FIA has had yet another brainstorm. Their race won't be 12 hours. It will be 1,500 miles. They figure that should take about 12 hours, but changing the name to The Sebring 1500 will sound a little less fake.

    Now, it sounds like a new sub-compact from Chrysler.   ;)

    Also, maybe it would have been nice of The Great and Might FIA to let Sebring know about all this in advance.

    http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/144375-sebring-s-imsa-wec-doubleheader-challenge
    « Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 12:35:34 PM by cosworth151 »
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: FIA Makes Major Changes in WEC
    « Reply #6 on: September 22, 2017, 01:44:31 PM »
  • Publish
  • The FIA has admitted it's making that part up as it goes along, so it would not have been possible to advise Sebring beforehand. Also, the distance conversion is to avoid confusion. Nobody wants to assume the last race is the "main ticket" race and then find it was really the mislabelled support act.
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)