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WEC set for big changes in 2018 - Photo: LAT

WEC set for big changes in 2018 – Photo: LAT

As the World Endurance Championship gets ready for their next round in Mexico this weekend. The rumour mill has suggested that the WEC is getting set to make some big changes to it’s calendar for next year.

Both Audi and Porsche pulled the pin on it their WEC programs recently, leaving Toyota as the only manufacturer competing in the top level LMP1 class. Although the lack of competition may see Toyota run a reduced program in 2018.

Without manufacturer support in the top tier LMP1 class, the series is set to make a raft of big changes.

One of the suggested changes is a move to a reduced six round calendar to be run over the winter, to reduce teams costs, with the season to commence at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

After hosting the opening round of the WEC every year since it’s inception in 2012, the British venue, Silverstone is one of the race tracks unlikely to be revisited next year. It has also been suggested that both the North American rounds, Circuit of The Americas and Mexico City are also on the chopping block. With contracts with all three venues expiring at the end of the current season.

The WEC looking at ways it can reduce costs for it’s competitors, while still retaining world championship status. With healthy interest continuing to grow amongst manufacturers, teams and drivers for the production based GTE class.

With costs a major talking point, Formula 1 team McLaren, expressed their interest in prototype/sportscar racing with a possibility of competing in WEC from 2019, but only if the costs were reduced.

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown expressed interest in endurance racing - Photo: LAT

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown expressed interest in endurance racing – Photo: LAT

“I believe the WEC has an opportunity to hit the reset button,” said Zak Brown McLaren’s Executive Director “I’d love them to get back to the Porsche 956 or 962 days, where factory and privateer teams can race together knowing they each have chances of winning.

“Right now, with the current rules, that’s just not possible. But look at the success of the LMP2 category, where costs are controlled for the benefit of everyone, so I’d like to see that kind of thinking transferred to LMP1.

“It’s a bit like the DPi situation in IMSA. The manufacturers have spoken with their feet over there. If the WEC can replicate the same spirit and cost effectiveness of a rules package with an element of hybrid technology – of which I’m a big fan – then we’re interested.”

The WEC is on track this weekend in Mexico and we’ll cover all the action in next week’s International Wrap. In the meantime pick up the current issue of Auto Action magazine for more of the latest international motorsport news. Also follow us on social media FacebookTwitterInstagram or our Weekly Newsletter for all the latest updates.