The FIA World Endurance Championship will return next season with a new CEO. Gerard Neveu, who leads the Le Mans Endurance Management firm which oversees the administration of the FIA WEC, will depart the company at the end of the year.
The Frenchman’s replacement has not been named, although RACER understands ACO technical director Vincent Beaumesnil, and Asian Le Mans Series leader Cyrille Taesch-Wahlen, are considered to be top candidates for the role.
“After nine years at the head of this superb motorsport program, I think it is time for me to hand over the baton and allow new life to be breathed into the organization under the leadership of (ACO president) Pierre Fillon,” Neveu said. “Great pages in endurance racing’s history books will open in a few months, in particular with the arrival of LMH and LMDh, and I have no doubt about the successes to come for these championships under the ACO umbrella. Until then, I will do my best to finish the 2020 season in the best way possible. Then it will be time for me to set off on a different personal path in 2021.”
Under Neveu, the WEC experienced significant growth as strong factory participation in its top prototype and GT classes made the globetrotting championship a powerful force through the latter stages of the 2010s. With numerous manufacturer departures in recent years, however, plus multiple delays in launching new formulas, and a brusque interaction style that proved challenging at times, the change could help strengthen bonds with IMSA and others with connections to the WEC.
“In a team, in order to achieve success, every man or woman within this entity plays an essential role,” Fillon said. “In creating and, above all, developing our FIA World Endurance Championship, Gerard Neveu was one of the fundamental building blocks for two reasons. He was not only part of the foundation of this championship from the very beginning, but he was also the originator of this FIA World Endurance Championship organization. Alongside the team from the ACO, they make this championship happen for all our competitors.
“For all these professional and human adventures we have experienced together, I sincerely thank Gerard. I particularly salute his commitment, his involvement and his extraordinary energy. From here on I wish him the best in his future professional activities. From a personal point of view, he will remain a member of our endurance family and, whatever his activities are, there is little doubt that future joint collaborations will emerge.”