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Coronavirus motorsport update

13 March 2020

Update on 26.3.20

The Indianapolis 500, originally scheduled for Sunday, 24 May has been rescheduled for Sunday, 23 August.

On-track action in August will begin at IMS with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, 12-13 August, followed by Fast Friday on 14 August and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications on Saturday and Sunday 15-16  August.

The following week’s schedule will begin with hot pit-stop practice sessions on Thursday, 20 August and include Indy Lights practice and qualifying. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, a significantly expanded Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, 21 August as part of Miller Lite Carb Day, followed by the public drivers’ meeting and full-field autograph session on Saturday, 22 August as part of Legends Day presented by Firestone.

As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the IndyCar races scheduled for 16 and 22 August have been rescheduled. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is now scheduled for 9 August and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is now scheduled for 30 August.

Update on 25.3.20

DTM has announced a restructured 2020 calendar in an effort to accommodate all 10 rounds of this year’s series despite the first half of the season having been postponed. The season is now due to start at the Norisring in July.

The 2020 DTM was initially due to commence at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder on 24-26 April, with race weekends following at Lausitzring, Russia’s Igora Drive, Anderstorp in Sweden, and Italy’s Autodromo Monza in June.

While the situation remains dynamic, the season is slated to begin at Germany’s Norisring on 10-12 July and concludes at Monza on 13-15 November.

Update on 24.3.20

IMSA has announced schedule updates for three 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge events.

  • The Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio, originally scheduled for the weekend of 1-3 May, has been moved to the weekend of 25-27 September.
  • The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, originally scheduled for the weekend of 11-13 September, has been moved up one weekend to run on 4-6 September. This date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA competitors planning to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now will run on 19-20 September.
  • The 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has been moved back one week and now will run 14-17 October to provide teams a more balanced schedule as the season comes to its conclusion. The original dates of the event were 7-10 October.

These three event date changes are in addition to the previously announced reschedule of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, which now is set for 11-14 November. Previously purchased tickets for all four events will be valid on the new dates.

Update on 23.3.20

Baku City Circuit has postponed the Azerbaijan GP 2020 due to take place on 5-7 June to a later date in 2020. All tickets will continue to be valid, without any additional formalities required.

Update on 20.3.20

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said competition officials intend to hold all 36 points-paying events and the All-Star Race this season as the sanctioning body continues to monitor the impact of and the variables created by the global COVID-19 outbreak.

In a Tuesday teleconference with reporters, Phelps said officials were considering many options in rescheduling the seven NASCAR Cup Series events and their companion races, not ruling out the possibilities of doubleheader Cup weekends or midweek events. He added that officials are focused on tentatively returning to on-track activity 8-9 May at Martinsville Speedway, but that the primary concern is to keep all those involved in the NASCAR industry and fans safe.

Update on 18.3.20

In view of the changing health situation related to the coronavirus and the latest French government guidelines, the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially scheduled for 13-14 June, has been postponed until 19-20 September 2020.

The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will affect the FIA WEC calendars; the revised dates will be communicated shortly. The European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ligier European Series calendars will also be updated. All this information will be released in due course as will the exact schedule for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Update on 17.3.20

The organisers of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy (5 Nations BRX) have postponed the opening round, scheduled to take place at Lydden Hill, Kent over the Easter Bank Holiday 12/13 April.

This suspension follows the latest guidance issued by HM UK Government in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which in turn has obliged Motorsport UK to suspend all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption until at least 30 April 2020. This position will be constantly reviewed and updated when we become aware of any changes.

The opening round of this season’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship has been postponed following guidance issued by the UK government and Motorsport UK in response to containing the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.

A new date for Oulton Park’s double header, which was due to take place over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend (April 11 & 13), is already being discussed.

Championship organisers, SRO Motorsports Group, still fully intend to stage seven rounds as per 2020’s original schedule. Further information will be issued in due course.

BTCC Series Organiser, TOCA, and Silverstone have taken the decision to cancel public attendance at the BTCC season launch taking place at the circuit on 17 March., TOCA has also decided that the first three rounds of the BTCC – Donington Park (March 28/29), Brands Hatch (April 11/12) and Silverstone (April 25/26) – will be postponed. However, it states that its firm intention is to run the full season of 10 events and will work closely with the circuits and its stakeholders in order to reschedule new dates for all postponed events. These will be confirmed and announced when there is further clarity regarding the eventual resumption of major sporting events.

NASCAR has announced that it is postponing all races until at least 3 May. The decision comes after the CDC (Centers for Control of Disease and Prevention) suggested a ban on all mass gatherings over the next eight weeks as the United States continues to battle the coronavirus outbreak. As it currently stands, NASCAR’s next race is scheduled to come on 9 May at Martinsville Speedway. In a statement released on Monday, NASCAR said it still plans to run a full season this year.

Update on 14.3.20

Ferrari has shut down production at its Formula 1 and road-car factories in Italy for two weeks until 27 March as part of a wider lockdown that began last week across Italy as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Ferrari said the decision had been made “for its employees’ wellbeing”. However, all non-manufacturing activity will continue at Ferrari, with staff expected to be “leveraging the opportunities provided by smart working” for the duration.

A Ferrari statement said that it had been working to continue production until now, but that it was proving impossible to maintain its supply line chains to enable operations to keep going. Brembo, for example, has announced that it is also temporarily closing its four Italian plants and tyre manufacturer Pirelli has also announced a cut in production at its Settimo Torinese plant near Turin, after a worker there tested positive for the coronavirus.

Update on 13.3.20

IndyCar made the decision to cancel all NTT IndyCar Series events through April. This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was scheduled for 13-15 March and continues through the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas which was to take place 24-26 April.

Following its announcement that it will hold its race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway scheduled for 13-15 March and the Homestead-Miami Speedway race on 22 March without fans in attendance, NASCAR issued the following statement on 13 March:

“NASCAR has decided to postpone the race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend. We believe this decision is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, officials and everyone associated with our sport.”

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is facing cancellation as local authorities ramp up their response to the coronavirus outbreak. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has announced a city-wide ban on all large-scale events through to the end of April. It applies to any event with an estimated attendance of more than 250 people.

The Trans Am Race Company has also announced that it is postponing the Pirelli West Coast Championship debut at Sonoma Raceway in California on 14-15 March 14-15. A new event date will be determined at a later time.

The upcoming SpeedTour Road Atlanta Grand Prix event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on 28-29 March will be held without spectators. The races will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the races.

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix scheduled for 13-15 March has been cancelled after a long period of confusion while organisers fought over who takes responsibility. “Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, the FIA and Formula 1 convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening,” the statement read. “Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead. The FIA and Formula 1, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix is cancelled.”

Following the decision that led to the decision to cancel the Australian GP has had the knock-on effect that all three TCR Asia Pacific races have been cancelled. The decision only came a few moments after the drivers had lined up on the grid for Race 1.

The Chinese Grand Prix has already been postponed as has Vietnam’s first Formula 1 race, scheduled to be held on 5 April, which was in doubt after the government stated that it would refuse entry to anyone who has been to Italy in the previous 14 days. This would affect team personnel from Ferrari and Alpha Tauri and tyre supplier Pirelli.

The Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have also been called off, meaning that the F1 season will now start in May, either at the start of the month with the Dutch GP after a 35 year absence from the calendar or at the end of the month, the confusion being caused by the FIA issuing a statement that the F1 season will begin with on 1 May with the Dutch GP but a statement from F1 saying it will be at the end of the month.

Formula E and the FIA have announced that the 2019/20 season will be temporarily suspended for a two-month period, considering the challenge the current health crisis poses to the organisation of events in city-centres.

The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has announced that the 68th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts scheduled for 18-21 March has been postponed due to the recent US ban on travel from mainland Europe, which will prevent a number of drivers, teams and key personnel from participation. The rescheduled race will now become the season-ending event of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and will be run 11-14 November at Sebring International Raceway. The weekend will also feature the rescheduled IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge – Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 and the IMSA Prototype Challenge season-ending races.

Eurosport Events, promoter of the WTCR, has announced the cancellation of the 2020 WTCR season opener at the Hungaroring, originally scheduled for 24-26 April. The decision is the result of Hungarian government measures taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, which bans public gatherings of more than 500 people until further notice.

To maintain WTCR’s planned 20-race schedule for this season, the FIA has agreed to the rescheduling of the qualifying session and two races planned for the Hungaroring weekend within the WTCR event at MotorLand Aragón from 3-5 July. Details of the event format will be announced in due course.

The World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona on 18-19 April has been postponed in response to the  Generalitat de Catalunya’s decree to currently suspend all live sporting events in response to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation,

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