WEC 6 Hours of Imola presented at Bologna Airport Tag



SEANGP.com
- To present the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Imola, a press conference was held this morning (4 April) in the General Aviation Terminal of Bolognas Guglielmo Marconi Airport.

The event included speeches from Frederic Lequien (FIA WEC CEO), Nazareno Ventola (CEO Gruppo Aeroporto di Bologna), Giammaria Manghi (Head of the Political Secretariat of the Presidency - Emilia-Romagna Region), Marco Panieri (Mayor of Imola) and Pietro Benvenuti (Imola Circuit General Manager). Special guests included drivers Antonio Fuoco (Ferrari AF Corse), Sarah Bovy (Iron Dames), Pierluigi Martini (1999 24 Hours of Le Mans winner) and Emanuele Pirro (five-time Le Mans winner). 

The motorsport calendar at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo and Dino Ferrari this year will feature a double-header of endurance racing. For the first time ever, the Imola circuit will host the 6 Hours of Imola, round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship (19-21 April); and three months later, the 4 Hours of Imola - round three of the European Le Mans Series (5-7 July).

Opening the racing season at Imola will be the WEC, which competes at the circuit for the first time since the championships inception back in 2012. Despite never hosting a round of the WEC, Imola is no stranger to endurance racing - exactly 50 years ago, in 1974, it staged the 1000 km of Imola. More recently, a round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup was held at Imola in 2011. Then from 2013 to 2016, and in 2022, the circuit staged a round of the European Le Mans Series – which will return this July.

The 2024 edition of the WEC sees a staggering 14 manufacturers battle it out on track with cars divided into two categories: Hypercar and LMGT3.  Last years 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Ferrari will be present as well as new-for-2024 entries Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini. Several Italian drivers will compete at their home race: Antonio Giovinazzi (Ferrari AF Corse), Antonio Fuoco (Ferrari AF Corse), Mirko Bortolotti (Lamborghini Iron Lynx), Alessandro Pier Guidi (Ferrari AF Corse) and Edoardo Mortara (Lamborghini Iron Lynx). There will also be great anticipation for the home hero and multiple MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who is making his WEC debut this season in a BMW M4 LMGT3 with Team WRT. Other well-known names include Jenson Button, Robert Kubica, Nyck De Vries, Mick Schumacher, Daniil Kvyat, Sebastien Buemi, Paul Di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi. 

Tickets for 6 Hours of Imola can still be purchased HERE.

Frederic Lequien (CEO FIA WEC): “It is an honour for the FIA WEC to visit Imola for the first time in 2024, a circuit steeped in motorsport history and where we are made to feel very welcome. We visited Imola with the European Le Mans Series in 2022, and it was a huge success. This year, with 14 manufacturers including Ferrari, Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini plus our Italian star drivers such as Valentino Rossi and Antonio Giovinazzi, everything is in place for an unforgettable event”.

Nazareno Ventola (CEO Bologna Airport Group): “Bologna Airport is the reference airport of the Italian Motor Valley, because this is where the supercars produced in our territory and exported all over the World leave from, and because this is where the teams and fans who follow the great Emilia-Romagna motorcycling and motor racing events arrive. It therefore seemed natural to us to host in our General Aviation Terminal the press conference for the presentation of this important FIA World Endurance Championship event, which confirms the centrality of Marconi in the world of motorsport”.

Giammaria Manghi (Head of the Political Secretariat of the Presidency - Emilia-Romagna Region): “The two endurance races, in particular the FIA World Endurance Championship, which competes in Imola for the first time in its modern version, exactly 50 years after the first world endurance race on the Santerno track, further enrich a calendar of major motorsport events that, in addition to prestigious events such as Formula 1 at Imola and Moto GP and Superbike at Misano Adriatico, this year also includes a round of the Formula E World Championship. All extraordinary opportunities to promote the territory and produce positive and widespread spin-offs. Our region is therefore increasingly asserting itself as the worlds Motor Valley, with the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome in Imola confirming itself as a fundamental facility for the sporting events that characterize it”.

Marco Panieri (Mayor City of Imola): “We are proud and honored to be able to host in our International Autodrome "Enzo and Dino Ferrari" the 6 Hours of Imola of the World Endurance Championship exactly fifty years after the first race. The most important world endurance event, one of the most striking and relevant in the motorsport scene, a competition that is expanding and finding renewed interest with the entry of new car manufacturers in particular from our Motor Valley.  It is an incredible opportunity for all of Emilia-Romagna, not only for Imola, which greatly enriches the 2024 event calendar with more than 50,000 expected attendees. On the occasion of the Finali Mondiali Ferrari 2022, it was at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari that the Ferrari Hypercar 499P, which later triumphed at Le Mans in 2023, was presented to the world.  But not only that, it is also a great comeback exactly 40 years after the last race held in 1984, after a first edition in 1974, which at that time was the World Sportprototype Championship with the "1000 km of Imola". We are intent on working on the multi-year nature of the event, and Imola is preparing with collateral events and initiatives that will connect the Autodromo and the historic center.  It will be an event integrated with the city, participatory and inclusive with a weekend dedicated to the promotion of excellence and Made in Italy. In this regard, I can confirm that we have obtained the inclusion of the Imola weekend in the official calendar of initiatives of the National Made in Italy Day promoted by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy." 

Pietro Benvenuti (Formula Imola President): "It is a source of great satisfaction to host for the first time the FIA WEC, a championship of the highest technical-sporting excellence, as highlighted by the 14 manufacturers between Hypercars and LMGT3, made even more embellished by the presence of important Italian brands, such as Ferrari, in its second season after the exciting victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also the new entries of Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini, which will certainly hold high the name of the tricolor industry. Imolas history is inextricably linked to endurance racing. If in 2023 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Autodromo, this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the worlds first endurance race, the 1974 1000 km of Imola, with a 6 Hours of Imola, and we do it in a big way with a race that will surely offer a stellar sporting comparison. First of all, I want to thank TAG and Bologna airport for hosting us in this beautiful location, and of course FIA WEC, Regione Emilia-Romagna and the Municipality of Imola because the teamwork brought this great event to Imola." (arl/wto/fiawec)

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