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2019-20 Fuji, Shanghai Dates Changed; Clashes Avoided

2019-20 Fuji, Shanghai dates changed to avoid F1, Macau, Petit Le Mans clashes…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

The dates of the Fuji and Shanghai rounds of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship have been moved to avoid major clashes in an updated schedule released on Thursday.

A final version of the calendar was presented to the FIA Endurance Commission with both of the championship’s Far Eastern rounds moved by one week.

It comes after several clashes have arisen since the schedule was initially announced at Silverstone in August.

The publication of the 2019 Formula 1 calendar saw the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka placed on the same weekend as the Six Hours of Fuji, on Oct. 13.

This WEC date would also have clashes with the Motul Petit Le Mans for the second consecutive year, with several drivers forced to choose between the WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races this October.

The Fuji round will now take place on Oct. 6, one week earlier, which has allowed for the Four Hours of Shanghai to be moved from Nov. 17 to Nov. 10.

This move avoids a clash with the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix, with the latter still be held on the same weekend as the Shanghai race this year.

However, clashes still exist between the opener at Silverstone and the Belgian Grand Prix and Blancpain GT Series finale at the Nürburgring.

The series’ return to Sao Paolo and South America, on Feb. 1, clashes with the traditional weekend of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, although no 2020 date has been announced for the Australian race yet.

“Our 2019-2020 season calendar features the same venues and race lengths we announced at Silverstone,” said WEC CEO Gerard Neveu.

“But, following the F1 calendar publication, we have modified two dates.

“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 updated schedule, will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval in Paris on Oct. 12.

2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship Schedule:

Sept. 1 – Four Hours of Silverstone
Oct. 6 – Six Hours of Fuji
Nov. 10 – Four Hours of Shanghai
Dec. 14 – Eight Hours of Bahrain
Feb. 1 – Six Hours of Sao Paolo
March – 1000 Miles of Sebring (TBC)
May 2 – Six Hours of Spa
June 13-14 – 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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