The FIA WEC has polled its pool of current teams as part of the calendar making process for the 2020/21 season and beyond.
DSC has seen a survey sent to the teams during the weekend at Fuji Speedway earlier this month, which includes three key parts.
The first was a question about the number of races that the teams would like to see on the schedule, the organisers actively considering adding a potential ninth race going forward.
Teams were then asked to rank the current set of circuits and a list of eight circuits not currently on the calendar in order of preference. The eight not currently on the calendar were Kyalami (South Africa), Barcelona (Spain), Monza (Italy), Suzuka (Japan), St Petersburg (Russia), Mexico City (Mexico), Sepang (Malaysia) and The Bend Motorsport Park (Australia).
Mention of a number of these circuits is interesting. Three of them have been visited before by the FIA WEC before:
Barcelona was the venue for the Prologue Test this year and also hosted the ELMS in 2019, Monza is a previous venue for the Prologue and is still used by the ELMS, and Mexico City was on the WEC calendar during the 2016 and 2017 season.
The other five are new to the WEC.
Suzuka, Kyalami and St Petersburg are currently not used by any ACO sportscar championships. Suzuka is owned by Honda (Fuji is owned by Toyota) and Kyalami is about to host an international motorsport event (the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge finale) for the first since the circuit was revamped (under its current owner Toby Venter who bought it in 2014).
St Petersburg (Igora Drive) meanwhile, has just been placed on the DTM calendar for 2020 and may end up on the F1 calendar in place of Sochi, due to work on the Sochi circuit site forcing a re-design making it too short for F1 competition.
Sepang and The Bend on the other hand are current Asian Le Mans Series venues. Sepang features annually on the Asian Le Mans Series calendar while The Bend Motorsport Park is on the schedule this winter for the first time.
A senior championship source told DSC at Fuji to expect ‘limited but positive change’ to the 2020/21 calendar, which will be released during the WEC’s weekend in Bahrain in December. Whether that means a change of venue or an additional race on the calendar next season, is not yet clear.