Provisional calendar for 2017 FIA WEC season announced

© Adrenal Media/FIA WEC

The provisional calendar for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season has been announced, retaining all nine rounds from the 2016 season.

The 2017 WEC season will once again feature eight six-hour races, starting with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 16.

Dates for both the 6 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans had already been announced, being held on May 6 and June 18-19 respectively.

The 6 Hours of Nürburgring is locked in for July 16, clashing with the provisional date for the Formula E weekend in Montreal despite a number of drivers racing in both series.

Following the 6 Hours of Mexico on September 3, WEC will return to Austin, Texas for the 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas on September 16 next year, confirming the split with the IMSA Lone Star Le Mans race after its move to a spring date.

The 6 Hours of Fuji is set for October 15 ahead of the 6 Hours of Shanghai on November 5, before the season finale in Bahrain on November 18.

Perhaps the biggest change to the calendar is the move of the traditional pre-season prologue test from Paul Ricard to Monza, which will play host to running on March 24 and 25.

Provisional 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship calendar

1. 6 Hours of Silverstone – April 16
2. 6 Hours of Spa – May 6
3. 24 Hours of Le Mans – June 17/18
4. 6 Hours of Nürburgring – July 16
5. 6 Hours of Mexico – September 3
6. 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas – September 16
7. 6 Hours of Fuji – October 15
8. 6 Hours of Shanghai – November 5
9. 6 Hours of Bahrain – November 18

“We are very pleased to have maintained this level of stability in the five years of the WEC to date, and our 2017 calendar allows us to continue to build on the tradition of endurance racing around the world,” ACO president Pierre Fillon said.

“Our increasing number of fans year on year is proof that returning to a venue at a similar time of year encourages people to make their plans to attend well in advance…and to bring friends with them to enjoy all the entertainment and access that the WEC offers.

“The Le Mans 24 Hours needs no introduction, but we know that audiences in countries such as Mexico can only increase as their knowledge and interest in the WEC grows. We look forward to an exciting 2017 starting with our first visit to Italy.”

“The opportunity to start our season at Monza is one we are sure will please competitors, fans and media alike,” FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu said.

“We hope that our calendar not only meets the expectations and requirements of all our partners and competitors, and makes economic and logistical sense, but also that it fits in with the increasing number of events that each venue hosts.

“The WEC continues to offer fans access to the most technologically relevant, competitive, and open championship possible, as well as offering our manufacturers Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Ford, Porsche and Toyota the perfect showcase for their products on and off track.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.