The FIA World Endurance Championship has announced that it has decided to cancel the Six Hours of Fuji, instead replacing it with a second round in Bahrain.
The championship stated that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions made it too difficult for teams and personnel to travel to Japan.
Instead, it has added a six-hour race at the Bahrain International Circuit on October 30, one week before the already scheduled Eight Hours of Bahrain on November 6.
It marks the first time in its history that the FIA WEC has hosted a double header event.
“Regrettably we have been left with no choice but to cancel our Japanese leg of the World Championship due to continuing difficulties with the pandemic including travel restrictions and logistical issues,” said Frederic Lequien, WEC CEO.
“We have instead decided to replace Fuji with another race in Bahrain, which we firmly believe is the safest option for everyone.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Fuji International Speedway’s President, Mr Eijiro Haraguchi, and his entire team for their excellent cooperation and we look forward to returning in the future.
“At the same time, I’d like to express our gratitude to Sheikh Salman and his team for hosting us twice this season – they always provide such a warm welcome, and I’m confident that a double-header in Bahrain is an ideal solution in the current climate.”
The Fuji round, a home race for world championship leaders Toyota, was last held in October of 2019. It was not part of the series schedule for 2020, when it still operated a longer calendar.
Bahrain, meanwhile, steps in to fill a gap in the calendar for the second consecutive year. In 2020, the season finale was held at the Middle Eastern venue to make up for the cancellation of the 1000 Miles of Sebring earlier in the year.
“It is a great pleasure for us to be able to host two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” said Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit. “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.”