You could tell the already tell Leandro Mercado from the rest of the crowd inside the WorldSBK paddock at Motorland Aragon, as he was simply walking on air at the reality of a home race for him in October, at the new El Villicum Circuit in the far west of Argentina.
“I have been waiting for this news for a long time,” said the VerdNatura Kawasaki WorldSBK privateer, who hails from Cordoba, right in the centre of Argentina. “For me it is a dream come true to race at home for the first time. I makes me proud and I am pleased that Superbike can race for the first time in South America, especially in my country. There are a lot of fans over there.”
Indeed, this will be the first ever WorldSBK in the South American continent.
What the WorldSBK paddock will find at El Villicim when they arrive there en-mass is still not completely defined, as there is a lot to do for the track infrastructure. The track itself is laid. But after an inspection by Dorna and agreements with local government and track officials in Argentina, the round is now a definite go.
“They are working to finish everything,” said Mercado, but they do not have too much time. So maybe the paddock boxes will be temporary. But for sure a medical centre, media centre, but the pits will be temporary. But the good thing is that we go – finally.”
The Argentinean race will now be the penultimate round of the year, and will be held between October 12th and 14th.