The 24 Hours of Le Mans test day will take place one weekend before the race next year, marking a change to the usual build-up schedule.
Confirmed in Monday’s release of the 2021 Automobile Club de l’Ouest calendar, the Le Mans test day will be held on Jun. 6 while the 24 Hours is set to go ahead on Jun. 12-13.
The weekend before the headline round of the FIA World Endurance Championship is typically reserved for scrutineering in Le Mans town center, while testing normally occurs the weekend before that.
Details of when and where scrutineering will take place next year have yet to be confirmed.
The move to bring the Le Mans test day closer to the race bears resemblance to IMSA’s decision to push official testing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona back by two weeks, from early January to the weekend before the WeatherTech Championship season-opener.
Le Mans was not preceded by an official test day this year because the ACO wanted to avoid ‘overtaxing’ teams when racing resumed after the wave of event postponements caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, scrutineering was carried out behind closed doors at the circuit rather than in central Le Mans, while the race was held without trackside spectators for the first time in its long history.
The 2021 ACO calendar also confirms the dates of the other major events taking place at Le Mans next year.
Le Mans Classic returns with historic sports car racing set to grace the full Circuit de la Sarthe in early July, three weeks after the 24 Hours.
The first 24-hour race of the year is the 24H Motos on the Bugatti Circuit, which is bookmarked for Apr. 15-18.
While the calendar chart shows the test day taking place on the Bugatti Circuit, an ACO spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that this is erroneous.