FIA WORLD ENDURANCE
CAN TOYOTA MAKE IT THREE?
Toyota has won both six-hour FIA WEC races
held in 2014, at Silverstone and Spa (RIGHT).
Can its LMP1-H TS040 HYBRID make it three
at Co TA, or will Audi or Porsche end the streak?
Halfway through its third season
carrying world championship status,
where does the FIA WEC stand relative
to your initial aims and hopes for it?
The FIA WEC has come a long way since
the announcement by the ACO and FIA
Presidents in 2011 and its first season in
2012. In 2012, the championship was a
baby, and in the past three years it has
grown up and achieved a lot in a
relatively short space of time. We are
slightly ahead of where we hoped we
would be at this stage. ACO president
Pierre Fillon and FIA president Jean Todt
are very involved in the championship,
and both take a personal interest in its
development and direction.
The LMP1-H class is proving to be a
spectacular battleground for the
participating factories. For a
manufacturer wanting to go racing, what
is the unique selling point of competing
in the WEC over, say, Formula 1 or the
World Rally Championship?
The area with the greatest stride forward is
the fact that two major manufacturers have
joined, or will join. This is due to several
factors, but mainly the new technical
regulations, which give manufacturers
the freedom to showcase new technology,
and due to the growing marketing and
promotional reach of the championship. In
many other championships, the regulations
are quite restrictive, whereas the WEC
technical rules have been written to give
each manufacturer a good deal more
latitude to develop new systems.
“The rules are there to
provide racing, not an
economy run, and for six
hours the cars will be racing”
There’s speculation that a second
North American race could be
added – perhaps in Canada?
The USA will continue to figure
strongly in any future FIA WEC
calendar. It’s no secret that we
are talking to tracks for a second
North American race, but those
negotiations are still ongoing.
In terms of number of races and
locations, how close are you to
the optimum WEC calendar?
Eight races on four continents is a
good calendar, and one we feel meets
the needs of the championship and
our partners. We’re always looking
for new opportunities, but the
conditions must be correct.
Is a new-format calendar, running
fall to mid-summer, a possibility?
There are several plus points to
running a new format calendar,
starting September and finishing at
Le Mans in June. The most obvious
is marketing the calendar as “The
Road to Le Mans.” It makes sense
to have the biggest motorsport
NORTH AMERICAN EXPANSION?
THE WEC CALENDAR
Ahead of its return to the Circuit of
The Americas, FIA WEC boss Neveu
gives us his thoughts on the series,
the spectacular on-track product,
and its possible future direction.
CEO, FIA WORLD