The major points from today’s background briefing on the FIA WEC with Gerard Neveu and Pierre Fillon were:
Very positive progress over 2012 with “95% of the parameters we measure in the green” (On a green, amber, red scale)
Good progress with crowd numbers, media reach and promotion.
Positive progress towards a c.30 car grid for 2014 (32 is the maximum level that WEC’s logistics can accommodate as full season travelling entries)
There will be no change in 2014 to the current qualifying format but there is work underway on presenting the evolving picture more effectively to those at the track and beyond.
An FIA WEC ‘App’ is to be launched, details are currently sketchy but we believe this is an interactive resource to act a a ‘second screen’ tier to the current TV/ Radio package giving access to a range of other functions and information. In-Car cameras, enhanced timing and scoring and driver tracking are amongst the options under discussion and development.
There are currently outstanding issues with two venues currently on the 2014 FIA WEC calendar.
At Interlagos there are ongoing discussions (which also involve Formula One) about improvements that the circuit must make to their safety management plan, the time taken to safely and effectively recover cars both at WEC and F1 meetings has been the cause of real concern.
At Austin there are clearly some difficulties and disagreements between the three parties involved in the currently timetabled Super Endurance Weekend which currently sees TUSC race in the morning and WEC in the afternoon on the Saturday.
Whilst keen to emphasise that discussions are ongoing between the three major parties involved, (WEC, TUSC/ IMSA and COTA), and that the preffered option was very much retaining the current date at COTA, it was clear that the current picture is still unclear – WEC require a better solution than in 2013 which saw a large crowd for the ALMS race on Saturday and a very small showing the following day for the WEC.
The range of options over COTA potentially include a date change or a switch to another US circuit if the situation cannot be resolved to the WEC’s satisfaction.
There is not going to be a double header with the Asian Le Mans Series in 2014, but it is under consideration as the Series beds in for future years.
Shanghai in 2014 will feature a substantially enhanced support programme.
The WEC and ACO are happy with the current stage of development for the fuel flow meter formula for LMP1 in 2014.
There will be no previously unannounced factory LMP1 entries for 2014, but one at least is possible beyond that (Nissan?) with others in active discussion.
There is no prospect of the newly announced LMP3 class for Asian Le Mans and European Le Mans Series making its way to the WEC.