Reduced 2020/21 WEC calendar a possibility, says series boss

A reduced World Endurance Championship calendar with fewer races next year has not been ruled out by series boss Gerard Neveu

Reduced 2020/21 WEC calendar a possibility, says series boss

Neveu said that it was too early to talk in detail about the schedule for the new season, which looks certain to begin next March after the abandonment of the 'winter-series' format.

He pointed out that there is no way of predicting the economic climate motorsport will face when the world emerges from the coronavirus crisis and that events may require the WEC to be downscaled from the current eight rounds.

"If I tell you that next year we will have eight races starting in March and finishing in November, I would be crazy and arrogant," he said.

"It could be less races: there are many options and everything is possible.

"We have to make an observation on the economic situation in a few months: what is the position of the teams, manufacturers, gentlemen drivers and what is the position of the partners, sponsors?"

Neveu stated that it is the WEC's intent to start the 2021 season with the Sebring 1000 Miles next March alongside the Florida venue's 12-hour round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

The only certainty at the moment, he said, is that the Le Mans 24 Hours will take its traditional mid-June slot.

"It should be that we will be in SuperSebring [for the start of the season]," he said.

"The only thing I am quite sure right now is to put Le Mans and SuperSebring on the calendar."

Asked if the WEC would return to Silverstone, which had been due to host the opening round of the 2020/21 season this September, Neveu replied. "I have no idea."

He also said it was too early to talk about Kyalami, which was on the 2020/21 calendar with a February slot, though he indicated that the WEC would be maintaining a dialogue with the South African venue.

Neveu stressed that the WEC would continue to travel around the globe next season.

"The fact is that it's a world championship, so it will not be a European championship — we will travel a little bit for sure," he explained.

FIA rules state that world championships must visit a minimum of three continents and the sporting rules for the current WEC season demand that a minimum of six races including Le Mans take place.

Neveu hinted that the WEC could be heading for what he described as a "reset".

"We will have to rethink and rebuild something after the crisis," he said.

He suggested that the series could undergo "a small evolution" and that "everything has to be on the table".

The WEC has ripped up its 2020/21 calendar, due to be the second run to the winter-series format, after rejigging the end of the current campaign as a result of the world situation.

The Spa 2019/20 round postponed from this month has been given a revised calendar slot on August 15, while a new race at Bahrain, its second fixture of the current WEC campaign, will close the season on November 21.

They will sandwich the new date for Le Mans on September 19/20.

Watch highlights of the World Endurance Championship on Motorsport.tv. Subscribe for just £3.99 per month.

shares
comments
WEC drops winter series format, LM Hypercar delayed until 2021
Previous article

WEC drops winter series format, LM Hypercar delayed until 2021

Next article

Why the WEC is right to drop its hangover cure

Why the WEC is right to drop its hangover cure
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021