Freight doesn’t arrive! WEC prologue in Qatar postponed

The feared postponement of the prologue of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) has occurred. The organizer uses the entire time window and postpones the prologue to two days. However, the schedule will be tightened so that the test will be completed on Tuesday afternoon local time.

The teams are waiting for the sea cargo that was supposed to be transported around the Arabian Peninsula through the Suez Canal. Because of attacks by Houthi rebels in western Yemen on cargo ships in the Red Sea, this route is now being avoided by many shipping companies, which has already led to turbulence in global trade.

The new schedule (all times CET)

Monday, February 26th

6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: 1st session 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: 2nd session 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: 3rd session (night)

Tuesday, February 27th

7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: 4th session

A statement from the WEC said: “The change in plans is a consequence of the ongoing geopolitical situation, which has resulted in significant delays in shipping traffic through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.”

“As a result, some sea freight arrived late at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar. In order to give the WEC teams enough time for test preparations, it was decided to postpone the start of the prologue.”

“The schedule for the season opener of the Qatar 1,812 kilometers the following weekend remains unchanged, with the race starting at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday, March 2.”

Location in the Red Sea as a reason

The WEC is the second racing series to be affected by the unrest in the Red Sea. In January, the Dubai 24 Hours had to be postponed by two weeks for the same reason.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have taken control of large parts of the country’s west in Yemen’s civil war.

With rocket and drone attacks on international trade routes, they are putting pressure on the international community to force Israel to end its intervention in the Gaza Strip.

The WEC cargo is now to be unloaded in Jeddah on the west coast of Saudi Arabia and taken overland across the Arabian Peninsula to Qatar. A day’s journey is estimated for the 1,500 kilometers.