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Thursday, May 30, 2024

WEC return a “important piece of the puzzle” for COTA

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Vp of motorsports Reid Atherton made the feedback after it was introduced on the Friday forward of the Le Mans 24 Hours that the Austin monitor would take over the WEC’s US spherical from Sebring following the conclusion of its three-year contract.

The 1 September occasion will type a part of an expanded eight-round calendar that features new rounds in Qatar and Imola, with Interlagos returning for the primary time since 2014.

COTA final staged the so-called LoneStar Le Mans six-hour race in 2020, having beforehand been a fixture on the calendar from 2013 to 2017.

Talking to Autosport, Atherton mentioned: “It’s a terrific addition to our main occasions schedule with NASCAR, MotoGP and Components 1, so as to add the World Endurance Championship to the fold is a important piece of the puzzle.

“It’s one main occasion every quarter, so we’ve acquired a very well-spaced out schedule.”

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Atherton, beforehand industrial director for McLaren’s IndyCar effort, mentioned staging an IMSA SportsCar Championship spherical on the identical weekend, as occurred in 2013-16, was “undoubtedly a subject of dialog”.

“Up for dialogue, however undoubtedly a chance and we’d worth that addition to the weekend,” he mentioned.

“I believe it’s a matter of simply making it work for each IMSA and the WEC.”

Andy Soucek

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Former Bentley manufacturing facility GT driver Andy Soucek, who has a parallel function to Atherton, added: “The actual fact the US spherical is going down at COTA is only a dream come true for us and the entire firm, it’s super-exciting to see them again after three years.

“They got here in 2020, tough instances with COVID, so hopefully this time we’re going to have a pleasant, easy run.”

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Soucek defined that the pair “determined to separate the positions and we’ve our personal tasks however we share the identical place”.

“We each have an excellent understanding of the way it works, we’re each very complimentary and we work rather well collectively,” the 2017 Blancpain Endurance Collection runner-up added.

The 38-year-old contested the current Nurburgring 24 Hours in a Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 and mentioned he at present has no plans to name time on his racing profession.

“In fact if I want to hold the helmet simply to dedicate 100% of my time to the undertaking I’ll,” he mentioned.

“In the intervening time I’m nonetheless aggressive, I’m in a fine condition bodily, mentally. Once I really feel that I’m not in that place anymore, I’ll in all probability depart it.

“Our CEO Bobby [Epstein] once I was negotiating my phrases and circumstances was amenable for me to proceed racing, as a result of I believe he understands that it is necessary for me to keep up a correspondence with drivers, groups, organisers.

“I believe in a means it advantages COTA as properly that I’m nonetheless lively. Most likely if I proceed racing will probably be a few races subsequent yr once more, similar as this yr, however that’s one thing nonetheless to be mentioned.”



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