The 6 Hours of Fuji has been cancelled and replaced by the 6 Hours of Bahrain to form the FIA WEC’s first-ever double-header rounds.
The sole Japanese round on the calendar has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances which have affected ongoing travel restrictions to Japan.
This has been the third time which the Season 9/2021 schedule has been adjusted with the Prologue and opener initially set for Sebring, which was changed to Portimao, before the eight-hour Portugal race was swapped around with Spa-Francorchamps.
Now the first of a Bahrain double-header will take place on October 30.
Frédéric Lequien, FIA WEC CEO, said in a statement: “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 (Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit) 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.”
“The current instability calls for adaptability,” added Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).
“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, the FIA Commission President, also commented his disappointment to the cancellation of the Fuji race for what would have been the ninth attendance since 2012, after it was not attended in 2020.
But he was delighted to see the championship’s first ever double-header come together.
More details of the double-header are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.
|Updated WEC Season 9 calendar|
|Prologue (pre-season testing)||Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium||26-27 April|
|1) 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps||Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium||May 1|
|2) 8 Hours of Portimão||Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal||June 13|
|3) 6 Hours of Monza||Autodromo Nationale di Monza, Italy||July 18|
|4) 24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe, France||August 21-22|
|5) 6 Hours of Bahrain||Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain||October 30|
|6) 8 Hours of Bahrain||Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain||November 6|