The intended return of the IMSA and FIA WEC Super Sebring doubleheader has been confirmed by Sebring International Raceway President and General Manager Wayne Estes.
An email sent out by Estes on Friday confirms that next year’s event, which includes the 70th anniversary running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, will be bolstered by the expected return of the WEC, reviving an event that proved a hit with fans in 2019 before the travel restrictions introduced as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic resulted in the WEC race being canceled for both 2020 and 2021.
“…the team that presents this great event is reviewing… things that must be addressed before the 70th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the return of the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring and a return to a post-pandemic open paddock,” Estes wrote.
“We believe that the world will be restored a year from now, that fences and gates used to meet CDC protocols will be gone, that grid walks and party zones will be back. Time will tell.
“After the performance of the teams this year, a 70th anniversary to celebrate, WEC’s new Hypercars adding to the 1000 Miles race, we expect demand to be at an all-time high.”
The WEC is yet to confirm its provisional 2022 calendar, which would also have to be approved by the FIA. But with the 2021 Sebring 12 Hours welcoming a delegation from the ACO/ LMEM that included ACO President Pierre Fillon and incoming LMEM CEO, Frederic Lequien, it seems that the topic of a WEC return in 2022 was very likely a positive point on the agenda.
If the WEC does return as expected there will be a significant battle to savor, as the Sebring event is likely to be the first race for the incoming Peugeot LMH Hypercar effort; the French manufacturer finally making its WEC debut a decade later than originally planned. It intended 2012 program was pulled when financial woes hit the parent company and the team withdrew its 908 LMP1 cars from competition just as they were preparing to test at Sebring.
The likely dates for the Super Sebring weekend are 18-19 March 2022, with the WEC race on the Friday (18 March) and the IMSA race the following day.