The legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps will continue to welcome the FIA World Endurance Championship for the next three years following the announcement of a contract extension on Saturday.
Ahead of the 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the 2015 FIA WEC season, officials from the WEC, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium (RACB) confirmed that a new deal had been signed to keep the race at Spa until 2018.
“The WEC will therefore be present in Belgium until 2018 and the race will be held every May at the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps,” a statement from the series read. “The high quality and great all-round success has perfectly demonstrated how the event has grown year on year, season on season.
“The enthusiasm and happiness of competitors, manufacturers, partners, fans, media and the organisers in and around the paddocks of this most iconic and historic of tracks prove what a real celebration of sports cars the event has become. All parties look forward to many more great WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps to come.
“The Belgian round of the WEC, a favourite for teams and drivers alike, has formed an integral part of the season since the championship was launched in 2012 and is viewed as the traditional dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours which follows in June.”
Spa has been one of the most popular rounds on the WEC calendar since its first season in 2012, making today’s announcement a welcome one for those involved in the series.
By retaining its May slot, the 6 Hours of Spa could be poised to become the penultimate round of the WEC season in the next few years, given that the FIA is exploring the possibility of making it a winter series that would enjoy its finale at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.