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Qatar secures calendar spot for 2024 World Endurance Championship

The WEC has signed a six-year deal with the Losail International Circuit to host the championship rounds, ensuring that they will continue as planned until at least 2029.

Losail will also be the venue for official pre-season WEC testing, known as the Prologue before the race.

A date for the six-hour event has not yet been set and is subject to approval by the FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council.

The Qatari fixture, which was unveiled in the country’s capital Doha on Monday night, will take over from the Sebring 1000 Miles as the WEC Curtain Raiser after the WEC’s five-year contract to race at the Florida circuit next year expires.

Sebring returned to the WEC in 2019 as part of a doubleheader weekend as part of the 12-hour round of the IMSA Sportscar Championship, but the 1000-mile fixture was canceled for both 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID. After that, he returned this year.

Qatar will be the second Middle Eastern country to be visited by the WEC, after Bahrain, which is under contract until 2027.

FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille said:

“Therefore, joining the FIA ​​WEC is a positive and logical development.

“Increasing regional diversity is very important to the FIA. Promoting motorsport and promoting the FIA ​​WEC in new markets is beneficial to fans, manufacturers involved and promoters.”

Losail International Circuit aerial view

Qatar Automobiles and Motorcycles Federation Chairman Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif Al-Mannai added:

“The WEC is widely supported and currently one of the most globally recognized racing championships.

“This event represents the world and we are very proud that Qatar will host the opening round of the 12th season of the WEC in 2024.”

The 3.343-mile Losail circuit is undergoing major renovations ahead of 2023, when it will become a regular fixture on the F1 schedule after appearing as a replacement for the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix.

These focus on the pit and paddock facilities rather than the layout of the track, which opened in 2004 and hosts MotoGP rounds every year except 2020 (and twice in 2021).

The Qatari venue will join the WEC in the season when the series will return to eight races for the first time since the 2019/20 campaign.

The WEC will be scaled back to six events in 2021 and 2022 as a result of the financial pressure caused by COVID, and will be expanded by one next year with the addition of a race at the Algarve circuit.

WEC is known to have committed to remain in North America after the end of its contract with Sebring.

The reborn WEC started in 2012 as part of the 12 Hours of Sebring, one round of the American Le Mans Series, before moving to Austin the following year.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is one of the potential WEC venues in the United States. Track owner Roger Penske wants to host a major international enduro at the venue.

For the first time since 2014, the former home of the US Grand Prix will host an IMSA regular sprint period race of 2 hours and 40 minutes. Qatar secures calendar spot for 2024 World Endurance Championship

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