The entire world is feeling the effects of the Coronavirus and that includes the various auto-based events that have been scheduled out a year or more. The latest casualty in the name of public safety was just announced by the Federation Internationale De L’automobile (FIA) in a recent news release informing literally the world’s top competitive racing teams that the 24-hours of Le Mans has been re-scheduled.
Scheduled to take place on June 13-14, 2020, the event will now be run toward the end of the season, on September 19-20, 2020. The release stated, “As a result of the ongoing coronavirus health situation and current restrictions in France and around the world, the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, together with the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), have decided to postpone the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, originally scheduled for 13/14th June 2020.”
The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will result in revisions to the FIA WEC, European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, and Ligier European Series calendars. This information will be confirmed in due course, together with the full timetable for the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020. It will also make the 24-hour race more difficult, as there will be a lot more of the race run in darkness than there would have been in June.
Gérard Neveu, CEO of FIA WEC and ELMS stated, “It is the right decision to delay in light of the current situation. We are now working on revising our WEC, ELMS, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ligier European Series calendars for the remainder of this season, and for the WEC’s Season 9 which was due to start in September 2020.
According to the official 24-Hours of Le Mans website, “Fans who have already bought tickets can use them on 19–20 September (no exchange required) or will be able to request a refund by using this form. If you have any queries, please write to: [email protected]. For the media, the press accreditation form is still available and journalists who have already requested accreditation do not need to file a new application. Clearly, the effects of this virus have been felt around the globe, and for the fans, teams, and organizers who plan such events a year or more ahead, they will be felt for quite a while to come.