FIA WEC to Move Fuji Round, Clash with Petit Le Mans

Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

In a highly controversial move, the FIA World Endurance Championship will move the Fuji Speedway round forward one weekend, to allow sole manufacturer Toyota to run Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso; This in turn though, has meant a clash with Petit Le Mans.

The profile of Alonso’s move to the WEC was one of the most significant moves of the series in its recent history, though the FIA have gone one step further by changing the date of a race weekend so that the Spaniard does not miss the round due to F1 commitments. The move to change had also been pushed by the Fuji circuit themselves with the race being largely funded by the Japanese manufacturer.

As a result this has created an issue for many of the other competitors who were planning to take part in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

The finale of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship is an opportunity for many international drivers as well as those who compete in both series. Fuji had originally been pushed back a week to avoid this, as both races will now take place on 12-14 October.

Taking place on the 20-21 October is the United States Grand Prix, which Alonso is expected to attend. WEC, Fuji and Toyota are expected to benefit massively from the increased PR and sponsorship at the latters home event.

Today’s announcement was the final confirmation of the 2018-19 Super Season calendar with the remaining rounds all keeping their original date.

2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar

16 Hours of Spa-FrancorchampsBelgium4/5 May 2018
224 Hours of Le MansFrance15-17 June 2018
36 Hours of SilverstoneUnited Kingdom18/19 August 2018
46 Hours of FujiJapan13/14 October 2018
56 Hours of ShanghaiChina17/18 November 2018
61,500 Miles of SebringUSA15/16 March 2019
76 Hours of Spa-FrancorchampsBelgium3/4 May 2019
824 Hours of Le MansFrance14-16 June 2019