Q&A with FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu

With the 2015 season nearing the half way point, how would you sum up the fourth year of the FIA World Endurance Championship so far?

“We are very happy with the strong position of the FIA WEC after just four years but we are never complacent.  The championship is attractive to manufacturers, teams and drivers thanks to the stability of the sporting and technical regulations in place which allows strong competition and technical innovation.  We also have a strong calendar with events that are getting bigger and better each year, attracting large crowds with a combination of on track action, off track entertainment and great value ticket pricing.  However there is still a lot of work left to be done and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the FIA WEC.”

The FIA WEC seems to be getting bigger and stronger.  What is the championship’s greatest strength?

“The greatest strength of the FIA WEC is the people.  That includes the teams, the manufacturers, the partners, the media and the fans and the organisation.  Each contribute to the success of the FIA WEC; it is like different parts of a big family each contributing to growing and improving the FIA WEC – individually we can do a little but together we can do a lot.”

The 6 Hours of Nürburgring is a new event on the calendar.  How important is the race in Germany to the FIA WEC?

“The 6 Hours of Nürburgring is a new event on the FIA WEC calendar, replacing the 6 Hours of São Paulo this year because of the work that is being done there to improve the facilities at Interlagos. With Audi and Porsche being major German manufacturers and partners, plus Toyota Racing being based in Cologne, the decision to have a race in Germany made a great deal of sense.  We are sure that the home race for these very important manufacturers will be well supported by the German fans.

The next race is in Texas, followed by Japan, China and Bahrain.  With the exception of Brazil, the schedule is the same as last season.  Why is it important to keep the same circuits at the same time of the year?

“To build the brand awareness of the events we need consistency and the best way to engage with local fans and local media is to hold the events at the same time of year.  This will be the fourth time we have visited Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain and it will be the third event in Austin and in each case we have seen bigger crowds and more media interest every year.

“There are also the logistics involved in running the FIA WEC to consider.  Moving 30+ cars and equipment from country to country is expensive and involves a lot of hard work so we try to move the WEC around the world in a logical sequence, using our resources effectively and at the same time keeping control of the costs involved.”

What have we that is new to look forward to in the future?

“We still have plenty to look forward to in 2015 but looking further forward we will welcome Ford as a full manufacturer entry in 2016 to take on Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. We are always looking at new opportunities. We are in contact with promoters around the world who are keen to bring the FIA WEC to new venues.  But we will only add events to the calendar if the conditions are right to do so and in full agreement with our stakeholders and partners.   We will continue to build on the solid foundations we have created since 2012.”

When will the 2016 WEC calendar be announced?

“We will be announcing the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar in Texas at the Circuit of The Americas.”

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