The World Endurance Championship has published a revised season schedule that sees the 2019/20 campaign resume in August while the championship will revert to a ‘calendar’ year format for 2021.
The Six-Hours of Spa which is slated for August 15 is the first event of the revised calendar, with the Eight-hour Bahrain race now concluding the season.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will now slot between both Spa and Bahrain with the race due to take place on September 19-20.
One of the more significant changes sees the abandonment of the ‘Super Season’ concept and a return of a more simplified ‘calendar year’ format for next season.
Races from Silverstone, Fuji and Kyalami which were set to host the opening three rounds of next season beginning in September have now all been shelved.
The 1000 Miles of Sebring in March is now expected to be the opening round of the 2021 season, with the season finale in November.
Gérard Neveu, WEC chief executive, said that the only plausible option was to end the season later in the year.
“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.”
Consequently, the shift of the start of the season from September 2020 to March 2021 also means the delay of the LM Hypercar technical regulations until next year.
“The [debut] of LM Hypercar will be March 2021, which is absolutely more conformable than September 2020, no question,” Neveu said.
“The big advantage is that we’ll [now] be on very similar timing to the IMSA championship.
“As we have planned to launch LMDh in 2022, and it’s also planned to introduce the new LMP2s in 2023, for us it makes sense that it will be on the exact same timing.
“It will make the life of the manufacturers, the chassis [constructors] and all the people involved in these new categories, easier.”
2019/20 WEC Revised Calendar (Races in bold have been rescheduled)
|1 September 2019||Silverstone|
|13 October 2019||Fuji|
|17 November 2019||Shanghai|
|14 December 2019||Bahrain|
|1 February 2020||Interlagos|
|15 August 2020||Spa|
|19-20 September 2020||Le Mans|
|21 November 2020||Bahrain|
Image: Toyota Gazoo Racing