The FIA World Endurance Championship has moved the dates of its Japanese and Chinese rounds of the 2019-20 season to avoid a schedule conflict with the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship calendar.
The WEC moved to a ‘winter’ series schedule this year and released a draft version of its 2019-20 schedule at Silverstone last month.
This was followed by Formula One owners Liberty Media releasing their proposed 2019 schedule, which created a scheduling headache as the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka and the WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji and Fuji Speedway would both take place on October 13.
WEC officials have now opted to move the 6 Hours of Fuji one week earlier while also shifting the date of the following round in China, the 4 Hours of Shanghai, one week earlier to November 10.
The original November 17 slot for the Chinese round was already clashing with the FIA GT World Cup finale in Macau and the Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road Atlanta.
“Our 2019/20 season calendar features the same venues and race lengths we announced at Silverstone, but following the F1 calendar publication we have modified two dates,” explained Gerard Neveu, the boss of the WEC.
“The knock-on benefit of this is that we will now avoid a clash with both IMSA’s Petit Le Mans and the Macau GT event, which is a bonus for both competitors and fans of endurance racing around the world.”
The 2019-20 WEC calendar is still to confirm a date for the 1000 Miles of Sebring round, which is tentatively pencilled in for a slot in March 2020. The 2018-19 ‘super season’s Sebring round will have double-billing with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s 12 Hours of Sebring event – WEC and IMSA officials will wait to see how that pans out before confirming whether they will repeat the exercise or run the two events on separate weekends.
The calendar changes still need to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which next meets on October 12.
|2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar (Provisional)|
|01 Sep 2019||4 Hours of Silverstone||Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom|
|06 Oct 2019||6 Hours of Fuji||Fuji Speedway, Japan|
|10 Nov 2019||4 Hours of Shanghai||Shanghai International Circuit, China|
|14 Dec 2019||8 Hours of Bahrain||Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain|
|01 Feb 2020||6 Hours of Interlagos||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Brazil|
|?? Mar 2020||1000 Miles of Sebring||Sebring International Raceway, USA|
|03 May 2020||6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium|
|13-14 Jun 2020||24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe, France|
Image via Toyota Racing