WEC move Fuji race to avoid Alonso clash

Credit Octane

The announcement that the 2018 6 hours of Fuji has been moved from the 19-21 October to a week earlier (12-14 October) has caused widespread anger among the established sports vehicle drivers and fans.

During the launch of the 2018-19 WEC "Super-season" it was confirmed the Fuji event has been pushed forward one week in order to avoid a clash with F1's United States Grand Prix to which free up Alonso to compete at both.

Mark Webber, who competed in WEC's LMP1 class for three seasons after leaving F1, said he was anxious Alonso's grand prix results could suffer if the Spaniard ended up "burning too many candles" with his Toyota effort.

"Fernando is effectively restricted to just driving the [Toyota] race auto", Brown said, as per Autosport.

"It's a shame that a race is changed for one driver", Button said on Twitter.

"Therefore the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will take place as scheduled October 10-13".

"Due to some factors such as television coverage, IMSA's year-end banquet on the same weekend and competitor and manufacturer logistics already being in place among others, it was determined there were too many hurdles to overcome to move the event", a statement from IMSA read. "Also other categories like IMSA and Super GT where a clash will hurt their fan base".

Alonso wants to win the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in France as part of the "triple crown of motorsport" achieved only by the late Briton Graham Hill. "It was logical [to reschedule Fuji]".

"We work always to protect the interests of the championship and this is first and foremost what we took into consideration".

Neveu however, has now called upon IMSA to change the date of Petit Le Mans to prevent the clash.

"The fact is that first we took into consideration the biggest interests of the championship and to have Alonso with us in Japan was just that", he said. The season finale takes place at Road Atlanta on the same weekend.

He not only completed 113 laps in Bahrain for the FIA WEC, the McLaren man also finished 13th in the class of the Dayonta 24 Hours race in Motorland Aragon in Spain.

He confirmed that IMSA had been told about the move in advance and "fully understood" WEC's decision. "So they have a good estimation of the added value of a driver like this in your paddock".

Neveu said that he understands their frustration, and called upon IMSA to look at the possibility of a date change for Petit Le Mans to solve the problem.

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