The World Endurance Championship (WEC) has unveiled four new venues as part of its 2024 calendar.
- Doha, Qatar will host the series’ prologue and season opener for the first time in March on a contract until 2029
- Imola replaces Monza as WEC’s Italian destination, with the date also moved forward from July to April
- WEC returns to Brazil for the first time since 2014 with the addition of the Six Hours of São Paulo in mid-July
- September sees a return to the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, which last held an event in 2020
- Total schedule expands to eight rounds as Sebring and Portimão drop off
Context: Notably, all four of the new additions to the WEC schedule currently stage Formula One races, meaning only the events in Fuji and Le Mans have no crossover with the global motorsport series. However, any scheduling headaches appear to have been avoided for next year after the initial calendar clash between the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the Belgian Grand Prix this season.
Comment: Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said: “For 2024, the calendar expands both in the number of races, and more importantly, geographical diversity, bringing WEC to more people. Looking at the bigger picture, the evolution of the calendar coincides with the rise of FIA WEC’s profile, and in particular its premier Hypercar class.
“This is testament to the reform of the series’ regulatory foundations carried out jointly by the FIA and the ACO, which has attracted new manufacturers.”
Coming next: When the 2024 WEC season gets underway in Qatar for the first time, it will do so without the longstanding LMP2 class. With Lamborghini, BMW and Alpine all set to join the top class of the endurance series from next season, space on the grid is now at a premium.
However, Autosport reports that a “minimum” of 15 slots on the grid will be reserved for the LMP2 category for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.