As was rumoured at the start of the year, the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans has been postponed from its original June date as the Automobile Club de l’Ouest tries to make it possible for spectators to attend the race.
For the second year in a row, the 24-hour race around the Circuit de la Sarthe will not take place in June as the COVID pandemic continues to restrict international travel. The UK is currently on track to exit their lockdown restrictions in June, if all things go according to plan, but the predicted 21 June date would have been too late for British fans to attend the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The new date of 21-22 August factors in the possible easing of global restrictions, along with lining up with the UK’s plans, and gives the ACO a more probable chance that spectators will be allowed to attend the race under more normal circumstances.
The options still remains for the ACO to restrict the number of spectators that can attend the race and hold them in ‘villages’ around the circuit – as was the plan in 2020 – but as they had no spectators for last year’s race it is likely the ACO will not want to cap the number of fans allowed to the race lower than the normal 250,000 capacity limit.
“Although it was a tough decision to make, it is the right one. Holding the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind closed doors for the second year running would be unthinkable.” said Pierre Fillon, the ACO’s President. “We are working very hard to put on a safe event, with all the necessary health precautions in place.
“This year’s race promises to be another thriller as the new Hypercar class makes its debut.”
The remainder of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship stays unchanged, with Le Mans now falling between the 6 Hours of Monza in July and the 6 Hours of Fuji in September as the fourth round of the championship. Ticket information for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be available in April, with the finalised entry list to be announced next week.