IMSA aims for June return at Watkins Glen

Michael Levitt/Motorsports Images

IMSA aims for June return at Watkins Glen

IMSA

IMSA aims for June return at Watkins Glen

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IMSA intends to open its revised season as scheduled on June 25 at Watkins Glen International.

Delivered in an update to the paddock via conference call Wednesday afternoon, IMSA president John Doonan told the participants “We are still focused on going racing at Watkins Glen at the end of June,” while noting a shortened event schedule would be likely.

The call to reduce the number of days for IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events in 2020 stems from a “sincere sensitivity to costs,” Doonan added. “Some teams have received funds from the CARES [small-business stimulus] Act, but not all.”

Doonan also explored the possibility of having fans at some or all of its races as part of a ‘Fan Lite’ program, where venues, with expansive real estate like WGI or Road America, would allow for “an opportunity to have people camping and social distancing” due to the available space onsite.

Although IMSA is working towards the resumption of its season at the end of June, Doonan spoke to some of the challenges the WeatherTech Championship will face in bringing all members of the paddock together to go racing.

Citing upwards of 40 percent participation coming from those who travel to the United States to work or drive in IMSA, the WeatherTech Championship faces a unique obstacle to overcome prior to WGI and the remaining races on the 10-round calendar that runs through November 11-14 at Sebring International Raceway.

“International border closures, state to state, and corporate travel is very restricted at this moment,” he said. “Our paddock is also affected by international travel.”

Two other notes of interest were offered during the update, with IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge IMSA Prototype Challenge series being given a green light to start testing in a limited capacity at specific venues. The testing ban for the WeatherTech Championship remains in place, but some classes could receive permissions to start testing in the coming weeks.

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