Losail International Circuit, 2023

WEC Prologue test postponed by two days due to Red Sea shipping delay


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The World Endurance Championship has postponed its pre-season test as some of its freight has been delayed due to shipping disruption in the Middle East.

The two-day Prologue test was due to begin at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar tomorrow. It will now begin on Monday, when three separate sessions will be held, followed by a fourth on Tuesday.

There will be no change to the schedule of the first round of the season, WEC stated. The first two practice sessions will take place on Thursday and the 1,812 kilometres race starts at 11am on Saturday.

The series confirmed some of its freight has been held up in the Red Sea, where shipping has been disrupted for several weeks.

“Due to ongoing disruption to the shipping route in the Red Sea, a number of shipping containers were delayed on their way to Qatar for the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” the series told RaceFans in a statement on Thursday.

“The championship is expecting a 24–48 hour delay to some of the freight arriving at the circuit and keeping teams updated regularly on the progress.”

The Qatari circuit is holding WEC’s season-opening round and pre-season test for the first time this year. The championship began at the Sebring circuit in Florida, USA last year.

The favoured shipping route between Europe and the Middle East, through the Red Sea, has been disrupted since the start of the year by missiles fired by the Houthi movement in Yemen. The US and the UK started retaliatory strikes against the Houthis last month. The same organisation conducted a missile strike on an oil plant near the Jeddah Corniche Circuit during the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend, though the event continued.

Formula 1 is testing at the Bahrain International Circuit this week, less than 150 kilometres away, ahead of its first race of the season next week. Much of its sea freight was sent to the venue in December last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “WEC Prologue test postponed by two days due to Red Sea shipping delay”

  1. Maybe they could raise their voice then with the FIA in calling for a ceasefire? Nothing wrong with giving to support to ending genocide is there? I guess not in today’s world. I’m sure we’ll get all the usual barrage of sports washing comments in a couple weeks though.

  2. hm, that might not bode too well for shipping during this 24 race F1 season either then?

    1. There are more shipping lanes then the Red Sea cost more but that is no problem for F1.

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