World Endurance Championship plans August return

Sports Cars

Six Hours of Spa scheduled for August 15 and next season shunted to 2021, as WEC publishes its revised calendar for the current season

6 Hours of Spa 2019 Eau Rouge

Spa race will mark the return of WEC in August... coronavirus permitting

Adrenalmedia.com for FIA WEC

World Endurance racing is set to resume on August 15, at Spa Francorchamps, with the start of next season postponed until 2021.

A fully-revised calendar has the six-hour Belgian race followed by the delayed Le Mans 24 Hours on 19 and 20 September.

This will no longer be the closing race of the season, as a second Bahrain race – to run for eight hours – has been scheduled for November 21, replacing the cancelled 1000 Miles of Sebring.

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“Big changes” have also been promised for the following season, which had been due to begin at Silverstone this September, with the introduction of the new hypercar category.

Organisers said they would need to take into account the precarious financial situation that some teams will be facing. The season will start in March 2021, at the earliest.

WEC is the first major racing series to finalise a revised calendar, but an accompanying statement does warn that the dates could change depending on the continuing coronavirus pandemic, or because of clashes with other FIA World Championship races.

Gérard Neveu, WEC chief executive, said that a late end to the season was the only realistic option.

“The evolution of this global health crisis has left us with little choice,” said Neveu. “It is today impossible to consider organising an international motorsport event before the summer, so we have rearranged the calendar accordingly while keeping the same number of events on the schedule.

“However, we must be prepared for some big changes for next season because we will have to incorporate many parameters, starting with the inevitable economic difficulties that are to come.”

The revised calendar for the current season maintains eight races, to ensure “quality and fairness” for the championship, said Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which organises and promotes WEC.

 

2019–2020 WEC updated calendar

  • 1 September 2019 4 Hours of Silverstone
  • 6 October 2019 6 Hours of Fuji
  • 10 November 2019 4 Hours of Shanghai
  • 14 December 2019 8 Hours of Bahrain
  • 23 February 2020 6 Hours of COTA
  • 15 August 2020 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
  • 19-20 September 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours
  • 21 November 2020 8 Hours of Bahrain

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