The FIA World Endurance Championship organizers have revealed how its Bahrain doubleheader will work later this season.
Originally, the WEC was due to visit Fuji Speedway in Japan after the Le Mans 24 Hours in September, but the logistical challenge posed by the pandemic prompted the organizers to make a change. Instead, the series will hold a doubleheader event for the first time, on consecutive weekends at the Bahrain International Circuit in late October and early November.
Round five of the WEC — the 6 Hours of Bahrain — will take place on Saturday, October 30 and will be run in daylight. The race will start at 11:00 a.m. local time and finish six hours later at 5:00 p.m. as the sun begins to set.
The season finale will take place a week later with the original eight-hour format on Saturday, November 6. The race will in daytime and conclude in the dark. The green flag for the race will be dropped at 2:00 p.m. and last until 10:00 p.m., ensuring a finish under the floodlights.
While there were rumors that the WEC would utilize two layouts for the doubleheader, like Formula 1 did last season when it used the outer loop, the decision has been made to host both races on the traditional 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit. A total of 63 points will be available across both weekends (25 points for round 5 and 38 points for the 8 hour season-finale).
Following the season finale, the WEC will host a Rookie Test once again, on Sunday, November 7. This will allow teams to test drivers new to the championship, or drivers looking to change category, ahead of the 2022 season. Details on the format of the test will follow soon.
“It will be interesting to see the different strategies that teams adopt for the doubleheader,” said Frederic Lequien, FIA WEC CEO. “It’s certainly going to provide two different types of races by having one run completely in daylight and the season-finale finishing much later at night. We’re very much looking forward to returning to the Kingdom with Sheikh Salman and his team and to crowning our new world champions at the end of our first-ever doubleheader.”