WEC - 2020 24 HOURS OF LE MANS FORMAT REVEALED | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC - 2020 24 HOURS OF LE MANS FORMAT REVEALED

18.06.20

The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, postponed to 19-20 September, will follow a particularly action-packed four-day schedule that promises to be as intense and as exciting as ever for the 62 teams involved. Between Thursday 17 and Sunday 20 September, we will see four free practice sessions, qualifying, the Hyperpole session and a warm-up, culminating with the 24-hour endurance race itself.

This year’s extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary programme! The format for the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, pushed back to 19-20 September due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, has been overhauled by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, in agreement with the FIA and the main partners and stakeholders in the international event, which is soon to mark its centenary.

Well aware of the financial impact of the current situation on racing teams, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest was keen to ensure that their resources are not tied up over too long a period. We have therefore rearranged the schedule of practice sessions – vital to good race preparation – and qualifying, the new Hyperpole procedure, the warm-up and the race, packing everything into a four-day timeframe. The different stages of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans will therefore run from Thursday to Sunday, maintaining the requisite level of quality for such an iconic international event.

The traditional scrutineering procedures will take place at the Circuit on Wednesday before the 62 cars take to the track on Thursday for the free practice sessions, qualifying and night-time practice. Friday will see more practice sessions and the much-awaited new Hyperpole shoot-out where 24 competitors will battle it out on the 13.626-km circuit in a test of sheer speed, without the “heavy traffic”!

The race itself will start at 14:30 on Saturday, with a 62-strong grid. 

The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans has obviously had to be reorganised due to the unprecedented international context, but every effort has been made to guarantee a high-quality competition, where safety remains the priority.