IMSA’s GT Le Mans class will be run without the Porsche GT Team during this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio due to a trio of positive COVID-19 test results within the program from last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With three factory drivers from Porsche’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effort in attendance for the French endurance classic, the German brand has opted to isolate Frederic Makowiecki, Nick Tandy, and Laurens Vanthoor, who comprise 75 percent of the GTLM effort, and any other staff members who would have traveled to Ohio for the Acura Sports Car Challenge event.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nurburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming (IMSA) race in Mid-Ohio. This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA,” said Porsche Motorsport VP Fritz Enzinger.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
Porsche also withdrew factory participation from the upcoming 24 Hours of Nurburgring. A return for the next IMSA race, scheduled for October 10 at Charlotte, was confirmed.
Scheduled to exit IMSA at the conclusion of the 2020 season, the Porsche GT Team will continue pursuing its first victory of the season after missing Mid-Ohio. As defending GTLM champions, its title defense has been an ongoing challenge; leading into Sunday’s 2h40m race, its two-car team holds fifth and sixth in the six-car GTLM class. With Porsche’s coronavirus-related absence at Mid-Ohio, the entry list is also reduced to 25 cars.