Brazil and Bahrain return to WEC calendar

Motor-racing series the World Endurance Championship (WEC) has confirmed today (Friday) that it will return to Bahrain and Brazil after revealing its provisional calendar for the 2019-20 season.

The season will comprise eight races across five continents, with São Paulo and Bahrain to join Le Mans (France), Fuji (Japan), Shanghai (China), Sebring (USA), Silverstone (UK) and Spa (Belgium) as host destinations.

The season will begin with the 4 Hours of Silverstone event on September 1, 2019 before the series holds its 6 Hours of Fuji, 4 Hours of Shanghai and 8 Hours of Bahrain events before the turn of the year.

The season then continues with the 6 Hours of São Paulo on February 1, 2020, with the series set to conclude with the 1000 Miles of Sebring (8 Hours) in March, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 3 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13-14.

The WEC gathered feedback from fans before drawing up the provisional calendar, which is subject to approval from the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Motor Sport Council. Sebring’s race is also yet to be formally confirmed.

WEC chief executive Gérard Neveu said: “Our fans spoke, we listened and have reacted. Naturally we have had a period of consultation with our partners and competitors, and we believe that this new calendar will meet their expectations and requirements as well as please the fans who are so important to us all. Our aim is to introduce an additional round to the 2020-2021 calendar so that there is more or less an event every month to help maintain interest.”

The 2019-20 season will mark a return to the WEC for Bahrain, which was dropped for the 2018-19 campaign. The WEC in March struck a multi-year deal to stage a race at São Paulo’s Interlagos circuit, which last hosted the series in 2014.

The WEC has traditionally operated an annual calendar model, but this has now changed. While the 24 Hours of Le Mans will remain the point of reference, a calendar overlapping years has been introduced for 2018-19, with the iconic French race closing the season.