The FIA World Endurance Championship will shift to a winter schedule, beginning next year and spanning through the 2019 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including a surprise return to Sebring.
Series boss Gerard Neveu and ACO President Pierre Fillon unveiled the the new schedule, as well as a roadmap for the future, including a tweak to the LMP1 regulations, during a media briefing Friday afternoon in Mexico City.
The reduced eight-round calendar, dubbed by Neveu as a ‘Super Season’, kicking off at Spa-Francorchamps in May, features two editions of Le Mans, as well as visits to Fuji Speedway and Shanghai.
As reported by Sportscar365 earlier this week, events at Silverstone, Mexico City and Circuit of The Americas have been eliminated, with Bahrain not currently listed on the schedule either, as well as the Nürburgring.
The biggest surprise comes with the return of Sebring, which hosted the series-opening round in 2012, for a combined race weekend with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in March 2019.
The Sebring WEC race will run from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m on the Sunday of the race weekend following the IMSA event on the Saturday.
The 2018-19 season will conclude at Le Mans in June, with the 2019-20 season then set to start in October before culminating once again at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Neveu said Le Mans will no longer offer double points, with the 12-hour race at Sebring and two 24-hour races, however, getting an incremental amount of points compared to a normal six-hour race.
The schedule is subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council, which meets next on Sept. 21.
2018-19 WEC Schedule (Provisional):
May 4-5 — Spa-Francorchamps
June 16-17 — 24 Hours of Le Mans
Oct. 13-14 — Fuji Speedway
Nov. 3-4 — Shanghai
February (2019) — TBC
March 15-16 (2019) – Twelve Hours of Sebring
May 3-4 (2019) – Spa-Francorchamps
June 15-16 (2019) – 24 Hours of Le Mans