FIA WEC Japanese round cancelled; Bahrain becomes double-header
Round five of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Fuji, has been cancelled and will be replaced by a six hour race in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The new six hour race in Bahrain will form part of a double-header for the final two rounds of WEC Season 9, with the first event to take place on 30 October and the second eight hour race – the WEC season-finale – scheduled for the following weekend (6 November).
The WEC’s Japanese round has been called off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as a direct result of ongoing travel restrictions to Japan, which will make it too difficult for teams and personnel to get there.
Instead of Fuji, the Bahrain International Circuit will now host the final two rounds of the World Championship, marking the WEC’s first ever double-header. Due to continued difficulties related to COVID-19, it was decided that two consecutive race weekends in Bahrain would be the most viable solution for all concerned.
More details about the Bahrain double-header will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “The current instability calls for adaptability. Having consulted widely, given the health situation, we will not be going to Fuji. A replacement round will be held in Bahrain. My heartfelt thanks to the Japanese organisation team who did all they could to host the event. We are already looking forward to next year’s fixture.”
Richard Mille, FIA Endurance Commission President: “The ongoing pandemic made us all prepared for the event of a cancellation. Yet, it’s always disappointing when it happens. Nevertheless, every setback creates an opportunity and the first ever double-header in the history of FIA WEC gives us all something to look forward to. I’m sure we’ll witness an epic season finale in Bahrain.”
Frédéric Lequien, FIA WEC CEO: “Regrettably we have been left with no choice but to cancel our Japanese leg of the World Championship due to continuing difficulties with the pandemic including travel restrictions and logistical issues. We have instead decided to replace Fuji with another race in Bahrain, which we firmly believe is the safest option for everyone. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Fuji International Speedway’s President, Mr Eijiro Haraguchi, and his entire team for their excellent cooperation and we look forward to returning in the future. At the same time, I’d like to express our gratitude to Sheikh Salman and his team for hosting us twice this season – they always provide such a warm welcome, and I’m confident that a double-header in Bahrain is an ideal solution in the current climate.”
Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit: “It is a great pleasure for us to be able to host two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Over the last few months, we have demonstrated our ability to host several major international events in a safe manner and we thank WEC for showing their faith in us yet again.”