Reports that the FIA WEC round at the Nurburgring in 2017 was set to move to avoid a clash with the Formula E double header in New York City have proved to be wide of the mark.
FIA WEC boss Gerard Neveu confirmed in Shanghai last weekend that the Calendar as published will remian in place and that means the Nurburgring date on 16 July will go ahead.
“The calendar was validated by the World Motorsport Council, with no asterisks next to dates there.
“We don’t see how we can do any modification for the Nurburgring.
“With the information we have, we cannot race before 16 July to give a minimum of 4 weeks after Le Mans, and we cannot race after the 23 July because the freight needs to leave for Mexico.
“That leaves two available weekends. We already know we want to stay with this successful race in Germany.
There is an F1 Grand Prix running at Hockenheim, probably on 23 July so we had to take a decision to go with the 16 July. In any case Nurburgring has already rented the track for the 23 July and we also have the ELMS (at Red Bull Ring) on that same weekend.”
That leaves a number of drivers in a difficult fixture clash but more than one team spokesman told DSC thsat it had been made clear to their drivers that the World Championship had to take priority.
The FIA WEC senior management were also asked whether the departure of Audi might have an effect on the continued presence of Shanghai on the Calendar, a venue known to be a strong favourite of Audi.
“Absolutely not, it doesn’t change the calendar. We are looking to continue in Shanghai for the next three years,” said Gerard Neveu.
ACO President Pierre Fillon meanwhile was keen to emphasise that it was a priority too for a number of other manufacturer teams:
“This is an important market too for the GT manufacturers, Porsche and Aston Martin have big markets here.”
The Shanghai event claimed 55,000 spectators over the race weekend.