Playing down talks of alternating the Spanish Grand Prix with the city of Valencia in 2014, Circuit de Catalunya general manager Salvador Servia says that his Barcelona track is already hard at work toward hosting the event themselves next season.
“We are working on next year; we have already published the ticket prices for 2014,” Servia told Reuters’ Keith Weir on Saturday. “We have done 23 years of Formula One and our objective is to do another 23 years.”
Fueled by the success and popularity of native son Fernando Alonso, Valencia’s street circuit staged a second Formula One event for the country: The European Grand Prix, from 2008 to 2012. But with Spain battling through an economic crisis, the decision was made last year to have both tracks alternate the country’s Grand Prix from 2013 onwards.
However, according to Autoweek, Valencia’s regional government has not yet decided whether to utilize its option to stage their home event next season.
Meanwhile, as the Valencia group tries to figure out their situation, Catalunya is relying this weekend on a healthy turnout of international fans — some of which, per Servia, are combining the race with a weekend holiday in either Barcelona or the nearby Spanish coast — to cancel out the effects of selling lower-priced tickets for locals.
“Last year we started selling overseas, targeting travel agencies and tour operators and we carried the same way this year,” Servia told Reuters. “We have sold quite a lot in England, Germany and France.”
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.