Portimão to replace Sebring for 2021 FIA WEC season-opener

Maranello 22 January 2021

The Algarve International Circuit in Portimão, Portugal, will replace the 1000 Miles of Sebring as the season-opener for this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. Round 1 of FIA WEC Season 9, the 8 Hours of Portimão, will take place from 2-4 April 2021. 

Due to the rapid evolution of coronavirus, as well as various changing directives from Governments in different countries including travel restrictions, the WEC did not want to take any unnecessary risks. With freight due to be sent to the USA imminently, a decision needed to be made early to help teams prepare for the 2021 season. 

With this in mind and the majority of the championship’s teams being based in Europe, after consulting IMSA, Sebring International Raceway and the FIA, a decision was made to hold the first race of the year on the continent. 

Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve International Circuit will also host the Prologue, the WEC’s official pre-season test from 30-31 March. Constructed in 2008, Portimão has been used to host a round of the European Le Mans Series [ELMS] since 2017 and provides a mix of fast and slow-speed corners, as well as dramatic gradient changes. 

(Source: FIA WEC)