Sebring's WEC round in 2019 to be 1500-mile event

Sebring's return World Endurance Championship race in 2019 will be a 1,500-mile event, it has been announced

Sebring's WEC round in 2019 to be 1500-mile event

The Florida track was confirmed as part of the WEC's 2018/19 'superseason', which kicks off with the Spa 6 Hours in May 2018 and ends with the Le Mans 24 Hours the following year.

WEC's Sebring race shares the bill with IMSA's traditional 12-hour event in March 2019, which will take place on the Saturday running from 10am to 10pm before the WEC race begins at midnight.

Amid concerns that another timed event would detract from the Sebring 12 Hours, it has been decided that the WEC event will be run over a fixed distance of 1,500 miles (2,414km), or 402 laps.

The idea of Sebring being a distance race had already been mooted by WEC boss Gerard Neveu when the fixture was first announced earlier this month.

It is understood that IMSA was unhappy with the idea of there being two races with the title Sebring 12 Hours and pushed for another duration or distance for the WEC fixture.

This year, only 348 laps were completed by the winning DPi in the IMSA-run event, however, the faster speeds of LMP1 cars compared to DPi machinery, combined with the likelihood of fewer caution periods, mean the WEC race is likely to end up being of similar length to the 12 Hours.

LMP1 changes confirmed

The idea of combining hybrid and non-hybrid LMP1 cars into one class announced when the new road map for the WEC was unveiled at the Mexico City round earlier this month was also confirmed by the WMSC.

The lap-time performance the two types of cars will be equalised as announced by allowing the non-hybrids to use more fuel per lap, but a fuel-range advantage for hybrids will be maintained.

The advantage given to turbocharged engines by the fuel-flow regulations introduced in 2014 will be removed for the superseason and the 2019/20 season to try to encourage privateers to enter LMP1.

The use of fluidic switches to direct air flow around aerodynamic surfaces has been banned, says the WMSC statement, "in anticipation of potential complex and expensive developments in this area".

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