July 3, 2017 / 5:18 PM / 4 months ago

Formula E avoids 2018 clashes with World Endurance

LONDON (Reuters) - The Formula E electric motor racing series and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have agreed to avoid any clashes on next year’s calendar, chief executive Alejandro Agag said on Monday.

Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO, speaks during an interview with Reuters ahead of round four of the Formula E championship in Buenos Aires January 8, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Formula E’s draft 14-race 2017-18 calendar runs from Dec. 2 to July 29 next year and was published last month.

Next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, the jewel in the WEC crown with a crowd of around 260,000, has been confirmed for June 16-17 but dates for the remaining rounds of that championship have yet to be announced.

Some top Formula E and WEC drivers, such as the reigning electric series champion and leader Sebastien Buemi of Switzerland, compete in both championships.

That has posed a problem this year, with two races in New York on July 15-16 clashing with the Nuerburgring Six Hours. Buemi is set to race for Toyota in Germany, leaving him just two more Formula E races in Canada in which to defend the title.

“So we managed for next year to avoid any clash with WEC, which is good news,” Agag told Reuters.

“We cannot really try to avoid clashes with Formula One. But as we don’t have common drivers, it’s no problem.”

Formula One’s commercial rights holders Liberty Media have already agreed with the governing FIA that their 21 race season will not clash with Le Mans, as it did last year.

In 2015 there was no overlap and the endurance race at the Sarthe circuit was won by a Porsche crew that included then-Force India Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg, now with Renault.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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