Following feedback from a recent fan survey, the World Endurance Championship is introducing four- and eight-hour races in addition to the usual six-hour ones
The 2019/20 calendar for the World Endurance Championship has been revealed, and two noteworthy changes are that both the opening round at Silverstone and round three at Shanghai have both been cut from six-hour races to four-hour races.
The races at Fuji, Spa, and the returning Interlagos round will all be six-hour races. The Bahrain race is also back and will be an eight-hour slog, as will the round at Sebring. The finale of the eight-round calendar will of course be the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
WEC boss Gerard Neveu said the decision to shake-up the race lengths came about as a result of feedback from a recent fan survey:
“Our fans spoke, we listened and have reacted. Naturally we have had a period of consultation with our partners and competitors, and we believe that this new calendar will meet their expectations and requirements as well as please the fans who are so important to us all. Our aim is to introduce an additional round to the 2020-2021 calendar so that there is more or less an event every month to help maintain interest.”
The calendar does include a few clashes with other endurance events - Fuji will clash with Petit Le Mans again, whilst the Brazil round takes place on the same weekend as the Bathurst 12 Hours. It’s not Fernando Alonso-induced this time, but it seems like there will be a few sportscar drivers with some tough decisions to make. Here’s the full calendar:
- 1 September 2019 - 4 Hours of Silverstone
- 13 October 2019 - 6 Hours of Fuji
- 17 November 2019 - 4 Hours of Shanghai
- 14 December 2019 - 8 Hours of Bahrain
- 1 February 2020 - 6 Hours of São Paulo
- TBD, March 2020 - 1000 Miles of Sebring (8 hours)
- 3 May 2020 - 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
- 13-14 June 2020 - 24 Hours of Le Mans