Formula V8 3.5 to race at Austin in 2017

Formula V8 3.5 is set to race at Austin next season as part of its new tie-up with the World Endurance Championship

Formula V8 3.5 is set to race at Austin next season as part of its new tie-up with the World Endurance Championship.

It was announced in July that FV8 3.5 would join the WEC package for several events next year, with Mexico City, Fuji and Bahrain provisionally earmarked to join the FV8 3.5 calendar as the championship's long haul rounds.

In an amendment to those initial details, FV8 3.5 is now set to race at the Circuit of the Americas rather than Fuji.

Japan had initially been favoured over Austin as it provided a more even spacing of rounds over the year.

But concerns over logistic issues related to shipping equipment from Japan in time for the Bahrain final were a deciding factor in opting for Austin.

FV8 3.5 teams had their first opportunity to meet with FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu for a meeting in Monza on Friday.

Details of the arrangements that WEC partner DHL will provide in 2017 formed the central topic.

FV8 3.5 teams will race at the Nurburgring on a Saturday next year. Containers will arrive on the Sunday, to be loaded for Monday and then sent to Mexico by sea freight.

Following the Mexico City round, teams' equipment will be driven overland to Texas.

The freight costs for nine teams will be paid for by series promoter RPM and the WEC, with the eight participating teams in this year's championship receiving priority status for 2017 entry slots.

The series will remain in Bahrain after the final round. The top-three drivers in the championship will receive prize WEC tests; the champion an outing with an LMP1 manufacturer team; the runner-up an LMP2 test and the third in the drivers' standings will sample either an LMP2 or GTE car.

There will then be a three-day FV8 3.5 test. It has been confirmed that this year's rookie test will be held at Jerez on December 5th.

Peter Mills, FV8 3.5 correspondent

Teams gave a favourable response to their first meeting with Gerard Neveu. Although the details could have been sent by e-mail, championship promoter RPM thought it would be an opportunity for team representatives to speak to Neveu in person about the series' new direction on the WEC package.

It was also reported that collaboration between RPM and the WEC's technical and sporting departments has been established, and a working group between teams and the organiser will come into effect next season.

Teams were also shown clips from the Mexico and Nurburgring WEC rounds. The extra expense of airline tickets for team personnel to travel to Mexico over Bahrain over a conventional European FV8 3.5 meeting is thought to be worthwhile when offset against the larger show provided by WEC.

FV8 3.5 has an asset in developing its relationship with the WEC in that all of its suppliers, Dallara, Gibson and Michelin, will be involved in LMP2 next year.


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