Changes to the Sebring 2019 schedule were announced during the week which will benefit all endurance racing fans. Following a recent meeting between the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA and Sebring International Raceway organisations, some key changes have been jointly agreed for the 2019 Sebring race weekend.
Presented by IMSA and the WEC, the WEC’s 6th round of its Super Season on 13-16 March 2019 will now become the 1000 Miles of Sebring (or 8 hours, whichever comes first) and is set to take place on Friday 15 March starting in the afternoon and finishing at night. The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will retain its traditional place as the final race on the schedule, the culmination of a truly great weekend of racing for all.
The WEC will make use of a separate, newly installed pit lane adjacent to the Ulmann Strait thereby allowing a smoother, faster transition between on-track sessions for the different championships. The WEC paddock will run concurrently to the IMSA paddock – which remains in its usual location – towards Turn 16 and, as at all WEC races, will be open to fans.
There will be an official WEC test day held in the run up to the race weekend, and a full schedule with more details will be released in due course. This will be the only time that the LMP1 prototypes, including the two hybrid-powered Toyotas, will race on North American soil in 2019.
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship said after the meeting, “Everyone went into the meeting with a willingness to find a solution which worked well for all of us, knowing that some flexibility would be required on both sides, and the key points such as the schedule and the pit lane and paddock were agreed very quickly. We would like to sincerely thank Scott Atherton and all his team at IMSA, Wayne Estes and his staff at Sebring Raceway for the co-operation, flexibility and positive attitude they displayed throughout the recent weekend.”
Scott Atherton, President of IMSA commented: “The decisions that came from our discussions with the WEC, FIA and track management promise to make the 2019 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts weekend an absolute must for sports car racing fans from across North America and around the world. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the initial announcement of this combined event, but we always believed we could all find solutions to the many questions and challenges that needed to be addressed to host two world-class events on one weekend. And that’s exactly what we did.”
Wayne Estes, General Manager Sebring International Raceway added: “From the beginning, we knew things would be adjusted to make this work for the teams, for the fans, and for the integrity of the 67th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a lot of work and cooperation among all parties to produce the best possible event for the world’s sports car racing enthusiasts.”
As further information comes to hand, Porsche Road & Race will bring this to you, so stay tuned!
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche Werkfoto