Spa Francorchamps has extended their contract with LMEM regarding sportscar racing on the legendary Belgian circuit.
LMEM is the company behind the FIA World Endurance Championship plus European Le Mans Series, and while the FIA WEC has visited the track since 2012, it’s been a part of the ELMS calendar since 2016. The deal has got an extension of four more years for both series.
The Spa Francorchamps track is a very iconic place, where the track itself delivers some great racing with long straights and fast corners, and then you add in the sometimes strange weather conditions, that we’ve experienced lately. The ELMS race in September 2018 was flagged off at the halfway point due to very heavy rain, and the FIA WEC race in May 2019 was stopped about 15 minutes before time due to massive snow fall!
But there is barely anything more beautiful than Spa Francorchamps in sunshine, and that’s what the series’s are hoping to deliver once again, after two races in a row with bad weather.
There will be a date change for the FIA WEC race in 2020. Due to a date clash with Formula E, the track and LMEM has decided to move the 6-hour race to Saturday 25 April. It has been a long tradition for the race to be run on the first weekend of May, and despite LMEM announcing the 2019/20 schedule all the way back at Silverstone in August 2018, the Formula E organisation has opted to have a race on the exact same weekend, which they claim not being able to move. But Gerard Neveu, the man behind LMEM, and the boss of Spa Francorchamps, Nathalie Maillet, have shown their willingness to move the date for the FIA WEC race.
There is however still a few clashes with other Formula E races, so now it’s up to the FIA and Formula E to get that thing solved – because the FIA WEC has been so generous to help with one of the races. The clashes can have big consequences for drivers doing both series, like Sebastien Buemi, Alex Lynn and probably Sam Bird as the worst affected. The latter is currently very doubtful to retain his seat in the AF Corse #71, since his Formula E bosses at Virgin Racing insist of him prioritizing FE against FIA WEC, in case of a clash.
The FIA WEC 2019/20 starts at Silverstone, with a 4-hour race on 1. September 2019.