Round five of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship at the Fuji Speedway in Japan has been cancelled, and replaced by a six-hour race at the Bahrain International Circuit in late October.
The new Bahrain event will form part of a doubleheader for the final two rounds of the current season, with the first meeting to take place on October 30 and the second eight-hour race scheduled for the following weekend (November 6).
The WEC’s Japanese round has been called off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as a direct result of ongoing travel restrictions to Japan, which will make it too difficult for teams and personnel to get there.
“The current instability calls for adaptability. Having consulted widely, given the health situation, we will not be going to Fuji,” Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said. “A replacement round will be held in Bahrain. My heartfelt thanks to the Japanese organization team who did all they could to host the event. We are already looking forward to next year’s fixture.”
Bahrain will now host the first ever back-to-back doubleheader at the same track for the series, which explained that “two consecutive race weekends in Bahrain would be the most viable solution for all concerned.” Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, said he is thankful to have been asked to host an additional round of the championship this season.
“It is a great pleasure for us to be able to host two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” he said. “Over the last few months, we have demonstrated our ability to host several major international events in a safe manner and we thank WEC for showing their faith in us yet again.”
More details about the Bahrain doubleheader will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.