If you’re a listener of The DFL Show, you might have already heard some of my thoughts on the “revised” WEC calendar for next year. With COTA off the list for now, I’m left sitting here in the media center at the circuit wondering if this will be my last ride with the series that really opened my eyes to the joys of endurance racing. The joy of prototypes. the joy of globetrotting to some of the best tracks in the world. And the joy of some of the best people and drivers in all of racing. This is where I pull out my boombox and stand outside the FIA’s window and beg them to come back to Austin.
Even as the WEC announces a new round in the US, at the legendary Sebring circuit, I have got to throw my voice into the mix and yell at the series that it’s making a huge mistake. By running this “new” Sebring race, you are giving up an FIA grade 1 circuit and moving to the second billing on an already packed IMSA race weekend. I can get the rationale for starting a race at midnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still silly. By starting at midnight you guarantee that most of your core audience will be awake, but running Sebring in mostly total darkness doesn’t sound like a good show.
Granted, that could be my Austin bias talking, but by doing this you move from the top billing of a sports-car weekend that Austin has really embraced, to playing second fiddle to the American cousins you so deride. You move from the world city that drivers and teams have come to love over the last five years to, well, Florida. I get the idea behind it all though. Moving to a legendary 12 hour race at Sebring but running a separate event from IMSA, you lose all that magic and history that the FIA was so hoping to capture in its US round.
The WEC feels at home in Austin. The drivers and teams love the city, the track, and the fans that come here. It’s a damn shame that the WEC feels the need to walk away from all of that for their 2018/2019 “Super Season.” And it’s a damn shame that “The Home of the World Championships” seems to have another slip through it’s fingers. But hey, maybe if we make enough noise we can get that final TBC date on the 2018 calendar. Until then though, I will savor every moment of this race weekend, and I hope you can too.