The Fuji round of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season will move forward a week, it has been confirmed, ensuring Fernando Alonso can race there.
Series organisers confirmed the move – which means the Fuji race now clashes with the Petit Le Mans IMSA finale but not the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix – on Friday, during a reveal of the entry lists for the Le Mans 24 Hours and upcoming WEC superseason.
Following confirmation that Alonso will be racing for Toyota at all WEC rounds that don’t clash with his F1 commitments, it emerged that Fuji had requested a change of date.
The Japanese race was first scheduled for 12-14 October, but WEC pushed back the race by a week in its latest 2018/19 calendar draft to avert an unpopular clash with Petit Le Mans.
However, Fuji has now been granted its request to move back to its original date, allowing star signing Alonso to race at Toyota’s home venue.
The championship’s decision to create a fresh Petit Le Mans clash is likely to go down badly with the numerous WEC drivers who had also planned to compete in the US-based event.
These include another of Toyota’s drivers, Mike Conway, along with the likes of Rebellion’s Bruno Senna, DragonSpeed’s Renger van der Zande, Signatech's Nicolas Lapierre and Ford pair Harry Tincknell and Olivier Pla.