WEC Considering Shorter Calendar, Winter Championship According to Report
This includes possibly axing rounds at Circuit of the Americas, Silverstone, and Mexico City.
The dismantling of the World Endurance Championship's LMP1 category has forced series officials to reconsider a list of specifics, including a shorter race calendar. Talks that started back in May suggest that up to three rounds could be taken off the schedule, making for a six-event season after 2017. This, along with the possibility of adding a winter championship, comes as a result of recent shifts that have dwindled the WEC's top class to just one manufacturer: Toyota.
A report from Sportscar365 tells that the first to go could be Silverstone, a race that has been on the schedule since 2012. The historic British track has played host to the WEC season opener for the past five years. However, its contract expires soon, potentially leaving it to rest without renewal following this season.
Circuit of the Americas could be the next to fall off the calendar as the WEC is yet to re-sign the venue for next season. Along with Mexico City, these three tracks could shorten the season by a third, lowering the total cost for participants—a major complaint of late.
Such efforts to reduce expenses could hopefully draw in new teams to the championship's top LMP1 category. Manufacturers like McLaren have already noted that they would pursue WEC entry if overall costs got closer to $20 million per year, and moves such as these would help narrow the gap between current spending and that target.
In order for the WEC to retain World Championship status, it must hold six unique races on three different continents. The series will achieve this in 2017 by adding new world titles for GTE manufacturers and drivers.
WEC CEO Gerard Neveu has been unavailable for comment since Porsche's exit announcement in July, so there's no official news coming from series officials.