COVID Delays 24 Hours Of Le Mans Race For The Second Year In A Row: News

This time around the race should be able to have in-person attendance

2021 24 Hours of Le Mans race delayed
COVID-19 delayed another race this year, but hopefully this is one of the last times we have to say that in the immediate future. (Photo: Automobile Club de l’Ouest/ACO)

Yep, you can guess why 24 Hours of Le Mans is delayed again.

After the pure dumpster fire that was 2020, most of us are looking forward to a brighter, fresher 2021 that sees the world return to some semblance of normal. Things are off to a rough start by most accounts, though, and in the motorsports world that just translated to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Event organizers — the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, or ACO — just delayed this year’s race, originally scheduled to take place on June 12-13. Now, the dates have been pushed back to August 21-22.

That’s a decision organizers said in a Thursday release aims to give teams, partners and spectators time to prepare while maintaining the current FIA World Endurance Championship calendar. “Although it was a tough decision to make, it is the right one,” said ACO president Pierre Fillon. “Holding the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind closed doors for the second year running would be unthinkable. We are therefore doing all we can to avoid that happening and to give competitors a clear view of the whole season.”

This year is a bit different, as it introduces the new “Hypercar” class to the fray. Toyota, Peugeot, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and ByKolles announced their participation, while Ferrari will join that class with a racer in two years’ time. Homologation rules also stipulate participants build 20 road-going examples of the cars which they intend to enter within two years from the point they begin racing, so we should see some stellar supercars emerge out of the series as well.

Details on Le Mans tickets and the overall race format will be available at the end of April. Unlike last year, though, physical spectators should be able to attend the event, if all goes well. Fillion went on in the statement to say, “We are working very hard to put on a safe event, with all the necessary health precautions in place.”