LMP1’S OTHER BATTLE
At Co TA, Rebellion Racing’s 2014 dominance
of the LMP1-L class for privateers (LEFT) will
gets its toughest test so far when Lotus joins
the fray with its AER-engined P1/01 contender.
Technology – and, specifically, road
car-relevant technology – is a key storyline
for the WEC. How do you tell that story?
For more than 90 years, endurance racing,
especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has
been a test bed for technical innovations,
some of which are now common on road
cars. Disc brakes, radial tires, turbocharged
engines, direct injection and high-performance diesel engines, to name a few.
The FIA WEC is continuing this story. We
work with the manufacturers to tell the story
of these new hybrid systems, but not so it is
too technical and switches people off. Diesel
engines used to be boring and only for
people who wanted to save money, but Audi
won Le Mans and now diesel engines provide
economy and performance, and the majority
of cars in Europe are now diesel. We can
provide a communications platform to do
the same for hybrid technology.
What can U.S. fans expect to see when
Audi, Porsche and Toyota battle it out over
six hours at the Circuit of The Americas?
Toyota won the first two races at
Silverstone and Spa, and Audi won at
Le Mans. Porsche has been quick from the
first event, taking a podium at Silverstone
and leading Le Mans. The races have
been just that – races. The rules are there
to provide racing, not an economy run to
save fuel, and for six hours these cars will
be racing. These are the best sports car
drivers in the world, and add in the team
strategy and you have the potential for
some brilliant on-track entertainment.
How is the atmosphere and the
excitement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
infused into the other races in the WEC?
The FIA WEC is the ambassador for
Le Mans; it is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on
tour, and we try to bring that sense of
excitement that is very evident at
Le Mans to every track we visit.
Le Mans is more than just a race, it is a
legend and a huge celebration of human
endeavor. We’ve been very successful at
giving the fans at our races the same
atmosphere. Each WEC race has a party
atmosphere, and this will be the case at
Co TA, with plenty to see and do around
the event for the whole family to enjoy.
263,300 fans attended the 2014 24 Hours
of Le Mans, up 18,300 from 2013. The
Second Screen App was downloaded
225,000 times during the week of the race.
GETTING THE FAN VOTE
ACO president Pierre Fillon (BELOW, left)
and FIA president Jean Todt (CENTER)
take a keen interest in the WEC, working
closely with series CEO Neveu (right).
A STRONG PARTNERSHIP
(ABOVE) The LMP1-H
factory hybrids from
Audi, Porsche and
Toyota head up an FIA
WEC field that provides
multi-class variety and
When a fan attends a WEC race, what
can they expect from the experience?
Anyone attending a round of the FIA
WEC is an important part of the event,
and not made to feel like they’re on the
outside. Ticket prices are reasonable
and aimed at the whole family.
The fans are given the opportunity
to walk in the pit lane, get close to the
cars, meet the drivers and grab a
picture and autograph. The drivers are
accessible and not hidden away
behind high fences or in the back of
VIP motorhomes for the whole day,
only coming out to drive the car.
Endurance racing is a human story,
one that is interesting and engaging.
The fans are part of this story and we
want them to be part of our event.
For fans at the track, or following a
WEC race from home, tell us about
how you’ve enhanced the viewing
experience with new technology.
Yes, for 2014 we’ve introduced the FIA
WEC Second Screen app, where fans
either at the track or at home can
follow the action on their computer,
iPad or Android device and have control
of what they can see and follow.
Selectable onboard cameras, live
timing, live TV feed and other
information at their fingertips makes
watching an FIA WEC race more
enjoyable, and it’s easy, and free, to
download at www.fiawec.com.
You don’t need to have the app to
follow the race, but it certainly brings
another dimension to the fan experience.
How important is the U.S. to WEC?
The USA is a hugely important market
for everyone involved in the WEC, and
the Circuit of The Americas is the
perfect place to host our U.S round.
event in the world as the finale of
the world championship. It’s also
easier to market the events when
there is little other high-profile
motorsport over the winter.
However, there are challenges,
and we’re still working with the FIA,
ACO, our teams and partners to see
how best it could be achieved. Firstly
we need to consider stability for the
events, which have been carefully built
up and marketed over the past three
years. There is also the impact of any
changes to sporting and technical
regulations to take into consideration.
It’s still being discussed and we are
not yet able to give a definite answer
on if and when it could happen.
(ABOVE) At every FIA WEC race, there are
plenty of opportunities for fans to get up
close with the cars and the drivers
(LEFT) Could a
future FIA WEC
with its jewel in the
crown, the 24 Hours
of Le Mans?
YOU’RE PART OF THE STORY
THE WEC FAN EXPERINECE