The 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will now take place in August in a bid to allow spectators to attend the event.
The race was originally scheduled to take place on June 12–13 but now has been rescheduled to August 21–22.
The decision was taken by The Automobile Club de l’Ouest - organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship and the FIA.
The move to August will potentially give fans an opportunity to attend the famous French endurance event as COVID restrictions are hopefully loosened.
A statement on the 24 Hours of Le Mans website said: “The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has made this decision early in the season to give competitors, partners and spectators as much visibility as possible and to maintain the current FIA WEC calendar. The dates of the other races and events to be held at the Le Mans Circuit remain unchanged at the present time. The ACO is working closely with the organisers of the various events that could be impacted by this change. ”
In 2020, the race took place in September with no fans in attendance for the first time in its history - something President of the AOC, Pierre Fillon, is keen to avoid for a second year running.
Pierre Fillon, President of the AOC, added: “Although it was a tough decision to make, it is the right one. 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. We are working very hard to put on a safe event, with all the necessary health precautions in place. This year’s race promises to be another thriller as the new Hypercar class makes its debut.”
The rescheduling also ensures the race doesn't clash with any Formula 1 event with it taking place during the summer break.
Organisers have also revealed the entry list for the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be released on March 9.