COTA back on WEC calendar, Sao Paulo 6 Hours canceled

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COTA back on WEC calendar, Sao Paulo 6 Hours canceled

Le Mans/WEC

COTA back on WEC calendar, Sao Paulo 6 Hours canceled

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The FIA WEC 6 Hours of Sao Paulo next February has been canceled and replaced by a race at Circuit of The Americas later in the month.

This change has been made due to the Brazilian event promoter being unable to meet contractual obligations to the FIA WEC, forcing it to find a replacement venue.

COTA, in Austin, Texas, is therefore back on the calendar for the first time since the 2017 season. It also becomes the first of two WEC races in the USA during the 2019/20 season, as the championship is set to race at Sebring in March once again.

The dates for the meeting are Feb. 22-23, pushed to later in the month to avoid a clash with the Super Bowl on the first weekend in February and the Formula E race on Feb. 14-15. This date does clash, however, with the Asian Le Mans Series race at Buriram in Thailand.

Today’s news comes after team managers were told in a briefing during the FIA WEC’s trip to Shanghai last month that they should prepare for the Brazilian race to be canceled or moved.

This new event will be a two-day meeting, featuring a six-hour Lone Star Le Mans race.

In a document seen by RACER, the teams have been told that this change will reduce freight costs significantly, between Bahrain and COTA.
“Compared to the initial freight budget, we estimate an economy of these two legs of approximately 50%,” the note reads.
The teams were also briefed that the issues that have led to the Sao Paulo round being cancelled “is not concerning the link with the city of Sao Paulo or the circuit itself, it is strictly with the promotor”.

“First, we must thank Bobby Epstein and the Circuit of The Americas for accommodating us at relatively short notice,” said Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “It is an excellent venue, and our fans, competitors and media are now assured of excellent racing in North America — not once, but twice in two months.”

“Of course, it is very unfortunate to find ourselves in this position. The WEC very much regrets this situation and feels very sad for the city of São Paulo and the many thousands of Brazilian motorsport fans. Our main concern was our competitors and partners, and we have worked very hard to find a solution which offered the least disruption possible.

More details on the Lone Star Le Mans race will be available in the coming days. This new set of dates is still subject to approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

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