Sebring set to kick off 2021 FIA WEC season
Today in Le Mans the provisional 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship calendar was unveiled, with a return to a traditional format season, kicking off in March at Sebring, ending in Bahrain in November.
With organisers acknowledging the global economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the six round season is aimed at offering the WEC’s manufacturers, teams and partners ‘intercontinental visibility in key regions around the world’.
The season will get underway in America with a pre-season test on 13-14 March in Sebring ahead of the 1000 Miles of Sebring race on 19 March. A month and a half later the WEC Rolls in to Belgium for the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 1 May.
24 Hours of Le Mans returns to its traditional slot in June on the weekend of 12-13. The series heads south in July as it visits the Italian temple of speed for the 6 hours of Monza on 18 July.
Rounding out the season is the 6 hours of Fuji on 26 September and the 6 Hours of Bahrain on 20 November.
The FIA WEC 2021 calendar has been presented to the FIA Endurance Commission, presided over by Richard Mille, and will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval in December 2020.
“Six events make up the 2021 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” commented Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). “To welcome our new top category in endurance racing we needed a calendar that sets the tempo and benchmarks for these new machines.
“Despite the current difficult circumstances, which may bring with them certain consequences for our championship events and certain economic constraints, it is clear that this ninth season of the FIA World Endurance Championship is more than promising, both for its competitors and for the circuits involved.”
Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission added, “The fact that the day before the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans the next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship is being announced is very satisfying. I must admit that the promoter has done an incredible job and the six-round schedule is an optimal solution in the current economic climate.
“A compact calendar will be a more cost-effective exercise for the teams compared with the usual, eight- round season, at the same time retaining the iconic races across different continents that give the FIA WEC its unique character. Furthermore, against all odds, the championship is going forward with the addition of another exciting venue. I’m very much looking forward to next year and today’s announcement is the first indication of a successful 2021 season for FIA WEC.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the WEC concluded, “We listened to our manufacturers, teams and partners and responded with a calendar featuring fewer events than in the past to allow them all time to deal with the current economic crisis. We will revise this upwards again in the future, as and when the health situation and the economy allows us to do so – hopefully from 2022 onwards. The calendar also takes into account our logistical road map as it provides our teams with the most cost-effective package possible.”
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