COTA get FIA WEC race
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n’s visit to the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas was already one of the most anticipated events on the 2013 calendar.
That excitement was kicked up another notch with today’s news that the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been added to the Sept. 20-22 event weekend.
Circuit of The Americas today confirmed that it has been selected through a competitive bidding process to host an installment of the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championships through a six-hour race scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22. The 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas will be partnered with two days of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n set for the preceding Friday and Saturday (Sept. 20 and 21).
The World Endurance Championship (WEC) was created in 2011 by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for international motorsport, and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), replacing the ACO's former Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The series’ marquee event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, held each summer at Circuit Le Mans in France, and each WEC event embraces the “Spirit of Le Mans” while offering six hours of endurance racing. WEC features multiple classes of cars competing in endurance races, with sports prototypes competing in the Le Mans Prototype categories, and production-based grand touring vehicles competing in the GT Endurance categories. Vehicle manufacturers and drivers compete for points and the chance to win “World Champion” titles each season.
“It is an honor to be selected as the exclusive North American location to host an FIA World Endurance Championship event, which will be the third World Championship motorsports series to compete at Circuit of The Americas this year,” Circuit President Steve Sexton said. “Our world-class venue will showcase this premier motorsport to an international audience. Endurance racing attracts some of the most competitive manufacturers, teams and drivers in the world, and we’re excited to offer this attractive product in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series, which incorporates many of the same participating manufacturers and sporting principals. Circuit of The Americas is the United States’ home to world championship motorsports, and this super weekend of racing Sept. 20-22 is a great addition to our robust sports and entertainment schedule.”
Circuit of The Americas is the only new addition to the WEC roster for 2013, joining circuits in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Brazil, Japan, China and Bahrain as host sites for the World Endurance Championships. The 2013 competition is shaping up to be the biggest and most competitive yet for the series with manufacturers representing Audi and Toyota in the prototype division taking part, while Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin will produce entries for the GT Endurance class.
Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO, said, “It gives us great pleasure to take the FIA World Endurance Championship to the Circuit of The Americas later this year for the North American round of the world championship. Working with our friends and colleagues at the American Le Mans Series, we want to establish this as one of the premier endurance racing events in the United States, and we are sure the people of Austin will be want to experience the Spirit of Le Mans at the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas this fall. I would like to thank Circuit President Steve Sexton and his team for their hard work, and I’m confident that 2013 will see the start of a long and fruitful partnership.”
Circuit of The Americas was previously announced as a host site for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n (ALMS), which will lead-off the three-day combined racing program with its first competition at the Austin Circuit on Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21. The ALMS features a unique, multi-class auto racing format that brings together five diverse and technically-driven categories of international racecars in battles of endurance at speeds topping 180 mph. Iconic foreign and domestic automotive brands, including BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Mazda, Porsche and SRT participate in the series. The ALMS is recognized as the “Global Leader in Green Racing” by top federal agencies and is lauded for its focus on alternative energy solutions.
“This sets the stage for one of endurance sports car racing’s premier weekends in North America," said Scott Atherton, ALMS president and chief executive officer. "Circuit of The Americas, as proven during last year’s FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, is one of the world’s most spectacular motorsports venues for competitors and fans alike. We are proud to be part of such a stellar weekend along with the FIA World Endurance Championship, and we look forward to putting on a Texas-sized spectacle for our many new fans in that part of the country.”