Gérard Neveu: “The WEC… it’s a special bond”
The final WEC Talk of the year is a nostalgic one as it features FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gérard Neveu who will stand down from the helm of Le Mans Endurance Management [LMEM] at the end of 2020.
It also includes interviews from newly-crowned LMGTE Am title winners François Perrodo and Nicklas Nielsen following a dramatic season-closer in Bahrain, which saw the AF Corse Ferrari crew clinch the 2020 trophy after starting from the back of the grid.
After ten years and 101 races with LMEM, Neveu recalled some special memories from his time at the WEC. He explained: “I think at the beginning we had just seven full-time staff and now we have grown to more than 30… I am proud of the incredible team I have around me and the amazing people I have met all around the world. When we started back in 2012, it was hard to imagine what would happen… but when you stay somewhere for ten years, you help write history.”
Neveu added: “When you are travelling with 1,200+ people somewhere in South America or Asia or anywhere around the world, it automatically creates a special bond. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to maintain family spirit in the paddock… Our events help create so many good memories for everyone. What we have shared during the last ten years is more than just a championship or a motorsport season – we shared a human adventure and this is what we can be very proud of.”
WEC Talk host Martin Haven also spoke with Perrodo and Nielsen after a phenomenal season alongside their team-mate Emmanuel Collard in the AF Corse run Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. Perrodo claimed the GTE Am trophy back in 2016 too but admitted about his struggle to adapt this season following a stint in LMP2.
The Frenchman explained: “I was shooting a little bit above my level in LMP2 and I thought the return to GTE would be a bit easier than it was. Everything clicked after a while but it took some time. I’ve been surprised by the increase in level between 2016 and 2020 – particularly the bronze drivers, the level is incredibly high now.”
Nielsen added: “The GTE AM class is hugely competitive… in Bahrain we saw the bronze drivers putting in times that were very close to the professionals and it makes the championship very interesting. A couple of years ago, people didn’t necessarily think it was competitive but if you look at it now there’s no way you can say that. For me as a young driver, I learned a lot too. It’s not only the bronze drivers learning from me – it works both ways. For all of us, it’s a good experience… This year was my first full season as a factory with Ferrari – this was my dream as a young boy and now I’ve done it. Being able to live that dream is fantastic.”
Don’t forget to listen HERE. On the same link, you can also find 14 other episodes of WEC Talk featuring in-depth interviews with various drivers and key names from the world of endurance racing – enjoy!
About WEC Talk
Available on various platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Deezer, the WEC’s official podcast promises fans a unique insight into the exhilarating world of sportscars.
With exclusive interviews from drivers, team members, management and legendary figures involved in endurance racing, fans across the world can get their regular sportscars fix by tuning into WEC Talk.