The 24H Moto event at Le Mans has become the latest significant motorsports event to be affected by the COVID-19 situation worldwide. The ACO has postponed the race, which was originally due to run from April 18-19, to September 5-6. The event forms part of the FIM’s Endurance World Championship.
The “Pre-Mans” tests ahead of the original event, scheduled to be held from March 31-April 1, have been cancelled.
There have been no changes as yet to the status of the ACO’s flagship event, the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. As it stands, the ACO’s events in Europe prior to the Le Mans 24 Hours — the European Le Mans Series/Le Mans Cup events in Barcelona (April) and Monza (May), are also still scheduled to go ahead as planned, although the rapidly changing situation is being constantly monitored with weekly meetings of a senior management group gathering the latest data and advice.
LMEM (Le Mans Endurance Management) contacted the teams ahead of the ELMS and Michelin Le Mans Cup meeting in Spain, including the pre-season tests for both series, on Tuesday. It confirmed that there are currently no changes announced for the event, with teams set to arrive from March 29 for testing ahead of the race weekend on April 4-5.
However, other sports car championship organizers in Europe and beyond have had to take action as the number of sporting events affected globally continue to increase.
The SRO’s World Challenge Europe (Formerly Blancpain GT) season opener at Monza (originally set to run next month) has been cancelled. The 24H Series race at Monza has also been postponed and replaced by a race at Estoril, Portugal.
The FIA WEC teams, meanwhile, head to Sebring this weekend for the pre-Sebring 1000 Miles test ahead of race week. There is currently no plan to cancel, postpone or run the IMSA-WEC doubleheader next week without crowds, as some global sporting events (including Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix) are doing. However, Italian LMP2 team Cetilar Racing has reportedly decided to withdraw from the Sebring race. Instead, the team — whose WEC program is run by AF Corse, which intends to be present at Sebring to run its GTE Pro and Am programs — will donate the money it will save from not racing at Sebring to Italian hospitals that are working to curb the spread of the virus in Italy and treat those infected.
This brings the number of LMP2 teams set to race down to six, and the total number of WEC entries for the Sebring race down to 29.