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Both Bahrain Races to Be Held on Grand Prix Layout

Bahrain double-header to use same track configuration after consultation over alternative layouts…

Photo: Porsche

Both of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s races at Bahrain International Circuit this season will use the standard Grand Prix layout after the idea of using other track configurations was rejected in a teams’ vote.

The WEC has outlined more details of its Bahrain double-header, which involves back-to-back races in the Gulf island nation at the end of October and in early November.

The first of those two events, the 6 Hours of Bahrain, was introduced three weeks ago as a replacement for the canceled 6 Hours of Fuji.

It will precede the season-ending 8 Hours of Bahrain, which was brought forward by two weeks from its original date to establish the new double-header format.

WEC teams were consulted at Monza earlier this month on the possibility of using other available circuit configurations such as the ‘outer’ and ‘endurance’ tracks, however the majority voted to stick with the familiar 15-turn, 3.363-mile layout.

The outer circuit was introduced for the Sakhir Grand Prix last December, while the 23-turn endurance circuit was used for a round of the 2010 Formula 1 season.

Bahrain International Circuit has been a stop on the WEC calendar in each campaign except 2018-19, while the series has always used the Grand Prix version of the track.

Basic schedule details for the 2021 Bahrain double-header have also been confirmed.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain will start at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday, Oct. 30. The eight-hour race is due to take place the following Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m, ensuring a period of night racing for the final round of the season.

A rookie test for Le Mans Hypercar, LMP and GTE machinery will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7.

“It will be interesting to see the different strategies that teams adopt for the double-header,” said WEC CEO Frederic Lequien.

“It’s certainly going to provide two different types of races by having one run completely in daylight and the season-finale finishing much later at night.

“We’re very much looking forward to returning to the Kingdom with Sheikh Salman and his team and to crowning our new world champions at the end of our first ever double-header.”

Bahrain International Circuit CEO Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa added: “These two contrasting races should offer a variety of challenges to the teams and drivers.

“We look forward to welcoming all participants to Bahrain, for what we hope will be a hugely exciting conclusion to the season.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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