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WEC NEWS 

Sebring bullish about WEC date loss

Allan McNish, Audi, Sebring 2012Sebring is confident that World Endurance Championship teams will still contest its 2013 12-hour race despite the event being left off the WEC calendar.

The FIA has announced that Austin will replace Sebring as the WEC's American date. Sebring had kicked off the inaugural WEC calendar this season.

The move comes a year before the major shake-up of American sportscar racing that will ensue when the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am merge. Sebring remains an ALMS round.

A Sebring statement highlighted that its 12 Hours next March takes place a full month before the WEC opener at Silverstone, and said the schedule had been designed so that WEC squads could still compete in Florida.

Sebring president and general manager Tres Stephenson was bullish about his event's chances of attracting WEC squads.

"We are very encouraged about 2013," he said. "We have already received inquiries from WEC teams who wish to compete in next year's Sebring endurance classic."

WEC chief Gerard Neveu said Sebring was dropped so that all the WEC's non-European rounds took place after the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013, and because of fears a joint WEC/ALMS entry would be impossible to accommodate.

"Imagine if we had 32 or 34 WEC cars and 35 in the ALMS," Neveu said. "It would be difficult to tell people that there was not room for everyone."

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