Will the second edition of the joint FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Super Sebring event finally take place this year? In contrast to previous years, Frederic Lequien, boss of the long-distance world championship, is optimistic.
“There is no need to panic: we are confident that Sebring will take place,” said Lequien in an interview with the international edition of “Motorsport.com”. “We have no specific warnings, just some small delays in transportation – which is the same anywhere in the world – but nothing that could jeopardize the Sebring event.”
After celebrating the premiere of the double event in 2019, the event fell victim to the corona pandemic in the past two years. In March 2020, social life worldwide came to a standstill due to the first wave, which is why the cancellation was only made a week before the planned implementation.
Then the then WEC CEO Gerard Neveu wrote an open letter to the fans of the World Endurance Championship. Even the IMSA series had to postpone its long-distance classic. The 12h Sebring finally took place as the season finale in November 2020.
The case last year was somewhat different. Here, too, entry restrictions in the USA played a role, but the race was canceled two months before the planned staging and the IMSA drove alone in Sebring. The 8-hour race in Portimao moved onto the WEC calendar as a replacement for the 1,000 miles of Sebring.
WEC boss Frederic Lequien: “Now the green light” for entry”
A year ago it was easy to make a decision because it was almost impossible to drive there because of the closed US border,” Lequien recalls. “Now we have the green light. Compared to last year there is no need to worry unless the US government decides in a month to shut everything down.”
However, the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently also rampant in the US state of Florida, where Sebring is located. A total of 430,297 cases were recorded in the week of January 7-13, an increase of 33,944 cases from the week before.
According to official figures, 15,067,643 residents, or 72.4 percent of the state’s population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Of these, 12,964,043 people are fully vaccinated or boosted.
The 1,000 miles of Sebring is planned as the season opener of the WEC 2022. The first race of the year is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 18th. The weekend before (March 12th/13th), the WEC paddock gathers for the prologue, the official test drives before the start of the season, at the Sebring International Raceway.