After the breaking news that the World Endurance Championship would run over two years for its seventh season, it has been announced that Silverstone, which was not on the original calendar, will appear in WEC’s ‘superseason’. Moving from its April date as the opening round, the 6 Hours of Silverstone will be held in August.
The initial calendar that was announced had a four month break after the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and it was expected that the WEC management would fill it with an event. Silverstone was speculated as the favourite. When the WEC originally formed in 2012, the British event was held in the summer. It will continue to be a double header, with the WEC 6-hour event and the European Le Mans Series 4-hour event.
The WEC had been hoping to bring in an extra event in February between the final round of 2018 that would be in November and the introduction of the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. It was hoped that either Interlagos or Mexico City could be brought in on a February race date so that the WEC cars cold be sea-freighted to Florida for the 12-hour event. However, when neither of these two deals came to light the back up of Silverstone was taken up
“We are not discussing the 2019/20 calendar at the moment, but when we go somewhere we want to stay for a long time and build something,” WEC chief, Gerard Neveu said. “People need to understand that an event will happen at the same time every year.”
The dates for the Fuji and Shanghai rounds have been pushed backwards to prevent the original clash between the 6 Hours of Fuji and the Petit Le Mans round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship that a lot of the WEC drivers also compete in.
“We are avoiding a clash with WEC, which is good news for the teams and many of the drivers in the paddock,” said Neveu, thanking the organisers of the Asian rounds for being flexible with the dates of their events.
Spa-Francorchamps continues as the opening round of the ‘super season’, with the prologue being held back at Paul Richard in April. The 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the second addition of the blue ribbaned event and the season finale.
2018/19 WEC Calendar
April 5/6 2018 -Prologue, Paul Richard
May 5 2018 – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
June 16/17 2018 – 24 Hours of Le Mans
August 19 2018 – 6 Hours of Silverstone
October 21 2018 – 6 Hours of Fuji
November 18 2018 – 6 Hours of Shanghai
March 15/16 2019 – 12 Hours of Sebring
May 4 2019 – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
June 15/16 2019 – 24 Hours of Le Mans