The International GT Open has become the first European sportscar racing series to be affected by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak as the championship’s winter test in Barcelona has been postponed by organizer GT Sport.
The test was scheduled for March 6-7 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and has now been postponed due to the ‘serious concerns’ caused by the ongoing situation surrounding the virus. The GT Cup Open Europe and the Euroformula open wheel series were also due to be part of the test.
“As widely known, the outbreak in continental Europe of the COVID-19 virus is causing serious concerns, and has already started to affect travel and transportation. This, together with the recommendations of health authorities across the continent, has led to the decision of postponing the Barcelona Winter Test,” the series wrote in a statement.
The outbreak of the virus originated in the Wuhan region of China, but has since spread rapidly. Italy was recently struck by the virus, with over 300 people affected and 12 reported fatalities, with France also confirming the first death of a national of the virus. Spain also confirmed its first case on the mainland on Wednesday.
“As we monitor closely the situation, we will advise of the new date for the Barcelona test as soon as possible. The Winter Test at Circuit Paul Ricard (20-21 March) is confirmed and maintained.”
“We apologize for the inconvenience to the community of GT Sport series, while we are sure everybody understands this decision is taken in the best interest of everybody, as we all face an exceptional situation of force majeure.”
The GT Open’s Barcelona test is the first sportscar event outside China to be postponed, although multiple events within China have previously been affected including the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, the opening round of the China GT Championship, and the Asia GT Festival.