Next year the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will once again feature an eight date calendar taking the team and cars around the world, with all the host countries from the 2012 keeping their place for the second season of six hour races.

The year once again centres around the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the obvious, and only, exception to the season of six hour encounters. The legendary endurance race taking place on the weekend of 22-23 June, forming the final part of the three race European season that starts the season.

“With the current economic situation it was important to save money on transportation of the cars around the world,” explained series CEO, Gerard Neveu. “This calendar allows us to send the cars by sea freight rather than by air as many times as possible, which will help drive down the costs for everyone involved in the FIA WEC.  This is very important for the long term future of the championship and I’m confident that this calendar will allows us to attract more teams and more drivers to the World Endurance Championship next season.”

The year will begin at Silverstone on April 14 in a sensational sportscar meeting that will also begin the year for the revamped European Le Mans Series in a separate race. The Silverstone event will not be the only ‘double header’ event with the ‘local’ ACO regulation race series as the Six Hours of Austin weekend on September 21-22 will feature an American Le Mans Series race on the Saturday, the WEC taking centre stage on the Sunday at the Texas track that will host the return of Formula One to the United States later this year.

The Six Hours Sap-Francorchamps retains its Le Mans dress rehearsal status as the second round of the championship on May 4.

As with the 2011 campaign the season is ended by a succession of fly-away races beginning with a return to Sao Paulo before the US date at the Circuit of the Americas, the only new track on the calendar.

The teams will then travel to Asia for the races at Fuji, then Shanghai before the year comes to a close at the Six Hours of Bahrain on November 30.

“We are pleased to announce the 2013 FIA WEC calendar which will allow us to build on the strong foundation we have laid this season,” said Pierre Fillon, president the ACO.  “By going to basically the same venues, with just one exception, it allows the FIA WEC to build awareness of Endurance Racing and will help us to attract even more people to watch us in each of these countries.  The 24 Hours of Le Mans will of course remain the corner stone of the 2013 calendar, while Austin will represent new venues.”

Provisional 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar

April 14 – Six Hours of Silverstone
May 4 – WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
June 22-23 – 24 Hours of Le Mans
August 24 – Six Hours of Sao Paulo
September 22 – Six Hours of Austin
October 20 – Six Hours of Fuji
November 10 – Six Hours of Shanghai
November 30 – Six Hours of Bahrain