The latest major racing event to be axed, amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, is the World Endurance Championship (WEC) race at Sebring planned for 20 March as the sporting world embarks on unprecedented measures to contain the coronavirus.
The WEC released the following statement:
Following the announcement made by President Trump at 9.00 pm(EST) on 11th March of a wide suspension of travel by non-US citizens from Europe to the USA, the leadership of the WEC has reviewed the viability of staging the Sebring 1000 Miles race planned to be held at Sebring on 20th March.
After a careful review of the situation, it has been determined that the WEC race will be cancelled.
Given the large number of drivers, team staff and officials who are still in Europe and who were scheduled to travel to the USA in the coming days, it would not be possible or appropriate to stage the race in their absence. The decision to cancel was communicated and accepted by John Doonan, President of IMSA late in the evening of 11th March.
Gerard Neveu CEO of WEC said: “This decision was not made lightly. Our teams and officials place great value on racing at Sebring in front of its enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans. While this cancellation has been forced upon us because of the travel restrictions from Europe to USA, WEC remains committed at all times to the health and welfare of its teams, officials and race fans. Further, the quality of every aspect of a WEC race event is at the heart of everything that we do and will never be compromised.”
In addition to the cancellation of the race, WEC’s Sebring test scheduled for 14th and 15th March will now not take place. With all racecars and equipment already located in the Sebring paddock, WEC will now focus on managing an orderly return to Europe.
Other major motorsport events affected by the coronavirus update are:
- Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix on March 22, no spectators.
- Formula 1: Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 postponed.
- Formula E: Sanya E-Prix in Japan on March 21 cancelled.
- Formula E: Rome E-Prix on April 4 postponed.
- Formula E: Jakarta E-Prix on June 6 cancelled.
- Qatar Grand Prix in Doha on March 8 canceled.
- Thailand Grand Prix in Buriram on March 22 postponed to Oct. 4.
- Aragon Grand Prix in Spain moved from Oct. 4 to Sept. 27.
- Americas Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on April 5 postponed to Nov. 15.
- Argentina Grand Prix in Termas de Rio Hondo on April 19 postponed to Nov. 22.
- Valencia Grand Prix in Spain on Nov. 15 moved to Nov. 29.