WEC open to Silverstone return for 2019/20 season

The door has been left open for Silverstone to return to the World Endurance Championship calendar in the 2019/20 season.

WEC open to Silverstone return for 2019/20 season
Start grid
#25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing 07 Gibson: Roberto Gonzalez, Simon Trummer, Vitaly Petrov
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke, Billy Johnson
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, Alex Lynn
Formation lap
Formation lap

The British track, which has had a place on the world championship schedule since the rebirth of the series in 2012, has been dropped for the so-called 'superseason' in 2018/19 as the WEC transitions into a winter series climaxing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2019/20.

There was no room for Silverstone on the schedule courtesy of a reduction in the number of races over the 18 months of the 'superseason' to eight, one less than the current annual schedule.

But series boss Gerard Neveu said he was open to Silverstone being given a place on the seven-race 2019/20 schedule.

"We never close the door on Silverstone," said the Frenchman, who said it "broke my heart" to drop the race for 2018/19.

"In July, when we were at the Nurburgring we had a calendar 100 percent ready for next season with Silverstone on board, probably in August.

"But the fact that Porsche left pushed us to change immediately to the 'superseason' and it was not possible to keep all the races because of the running costs."

Neveu revealed that he and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest would be maintaining a relationship with Silverstone through a continuation of its European Le Mans Series fixture, which has run on the same bill as the WEC race since 2013.

"The ELMS will stay in Silverstone next season, but not at the same time of year," he explained.

The first true WEC season winter season will take place in 2019/20, with a projected start date in October.

But Neveu did not rule out bringing that forward to September, which would allow Silverstone to be incorporated into the calendar.

Silverstone's round of the Le Mans Series, the predecessor of both the WEC and the ELMS, took place in the first half of September between 2007 and '11.

Silverstone Circuit managing director Stuart Pringle told Motorsport.com that there was a real desire for the track to return to the schedule.

"We take the view that Silverstone has a long and proud history of world championship sportscar racing and that we are much more than just a grand prix track," he said.

"We have to accept that the WEC is going through a difficult phase and some tracks were always going to miss out, but we hope to get back on the roster."

Pringle said that Silverstone's preference would be for a late summer date to "allow us to market the event to the British fans at Le Mans".

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