Qatar to host WEC opener in 2024
By Iwan Jones
Tuesday 13th December, 2022 - 10:44am
Qatar will host the opening round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, with a six-hour endurance race.
The 6 Hours of Qatar will be held for the first time at the Lusail International Circuit, near the capital Doha, in 2024.
It follows the signing of a six-year contract that will see the premier endurance championship race there until 2029 at the minimum.
Established in 2004, Lusail International Circuit is the only circuit in the region to have both FIA and FIM homologation licences.
Qatar has hosted the MotoGP season-opener at the 5.38km circuit for several years, hosting the category’s first night race in 2008, while Formula 1 raced there for the first time last year, with the premier open-wheeler category to return there next year.
The 2024 6 Hours of Qatar will mark the first time that WEC has raced in the country, which will become the 13th that the championship has visited.
Prior to the race, the official pre-season test, referred to as The Prologue, will take place in Qatar.
“We are delighted to have signed a minimum six-year contract with Lusail International Circuit to bring the WEC to Qatar for the very first time,” FIA WEC CEO Frederic Lequien said.
“The extensive renovations that are currently underway at Lusail will make it one of the most prestigious race circuits in the world. 2024 will be a very memorable year, not only will we have several global manufacturers competing in the Hypercar category, but we’ll be taking endurance racing to another new territory.”
A date for the inaugural 6 Hours of Qatar has yet to be revealed, with the event’s date, along with the complete 2024 FIA WEC calendar, to be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in due course.
The 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship season will commence with the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 17.