- 1000 Miles of Sebring to take place on Friday of Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts weekend
- Fans will be the winners with a great festival of racing
Following an extremely productive and positive meeting held recently between the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA and Sebring International Raceway organizations, some key changes have been jointly agreed for the 2019 race weekend.
Presented by IMSA and the WEC, the March 13-16 event will feature more racing, more cars and a heightened experience for fans with the WEC’s 6th round of its Super Season now becoming the 1000 Miles of Sebring (or 8 hours, whichever comes first) and taking place on Friday March 15 starting in the afternoon and finishing at night.
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s 67th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts will retain its traditional place as the final race on the schedule (Saturday, March 16), 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 Straight thereby allowing a smoother, faster transition between on track sessions for the different championships. The revised schedule will more comfortable for spectators, corner workers, media, teams and commercial partners, and will provide even more entertainment for the fans. 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.
As this will be a first visit to the notoriously challenging 3.74-mile (6.01 km) track for many of the WEC’s 36 full-season entrants to the Super Season, there will be an official WEC test day held in the run up to the race weekend. 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 and the anticipation in the WEC paddock has already started to build.
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. In the weeks and months ahead, we know this spirit of cooperation will continue as we complete the process of planning what promises to be an unprecedented showcase of sports car endurance racing for the fans - and competitors in each championship.”
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “I am delighted to see that Scott Atherton and Gérard Neveu, together with their respective teams from the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and the WEC, have been able to find very good solutions to the many challenges associated with staging this event.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship said after the meeting, “Everyone went in to 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 pitlane 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. We received a very warm welcome, had many meetings while in Florida, and a lot of the logistical bumps have already been smoothed out ready for the WEC’s visit next year.”
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 presented by Advance Auto Parts. 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.”
About Sebring International Raceway
Sebring International Raceway is North America’s oldest permanent road racing facility, established in 1950. The circuit originated from a WWII B-17 combat crew training base known as Hendricks Field. Nestled among the orange groves and cattle ranches of Central Florida, Sebring International Raceway has hosted the legendary 12-hour endurance classic since 1952, now part of the prestigious IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sebring was the site of the first ever FIA World Championship Sports Car Race in 1953, and in 2012 hosted the inaugural race of the FIA WEC. Sebring is also known as one of the most versatile testing facilities in the motorsports industry. Sebring offers a variety of circuit configurations for club events, private testing, corporate events and racing schools. For more information on Sebring, visit www.sebringraceway.com.
About the FIA World Endurance Championship
The WEC is the most successful and fan-followed international sportscar championship in the world, offering motor manufacturers a real-world relevance to advances in road car design and crossover technology, performance and safety. Strong, stable regulations allow for complex yet beautiful sports prototypes, with technology from the latest in hybrid technology to sophisticated, independent chassis competing at the highest levels, and the world’s leading luxury car marques going head-to-head in the GT categories. Over 35 cars are on track at the same time, leading to action, excitement, endless passing and entertainment for fans worldwide.
The WEC offers teams, drivers, partners and stakeholders a unique stage on which to compete, at premier race circuits around the world. Ranked alongside the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the soccer World Cup, the cornerstone of the WEC remains one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June each year. The championship regularly contests an 8-round calendar across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East – a true World Championship. All races, with the exception of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1000 Miles of Sebring (approx. 8 hours), are 6 hours in duration.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, as well as four one-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech