The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season-opener in St.Petersburg, Florida will go ahead despite growing concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
St.Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon during a press conference.
The race, which will run under a condensed two-day schedule, will be run behind closed doors with no spectators being granted access.
It comes at a difficult time for the motorsport world, which has seen a raft of cancellations and postponements as the coronavirus continues to spread.
A joint statement from IndyCar and race promotor Green Savoree Racing Promotions reads: “IndyCar and Green Savoree Racing Promotions, in conjunction with the city of St. Petersburg, announced Thursday that all activities surrounding Sunday’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be closed to spectators and limited to essential personnel only.
“This protocol is being put in place to protect the health and welfare of the fans, drivers, teams, workers and officials, as we mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“The race weekend will operate from Friday through Sunday, with INDYCAR on-track sessions limited to Saturday and Sunday.
“The activities also include Road To Indy, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, and SRO Motorsports Group America on a condensed schedule.”
McLaren Racing – affiliated to Arrow McLaren SP – has pulled out of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix after a team member tested positive for the virus.
After deliberations between the other nine F1 teams and the governing officials, the F1 event itself has now been called off.
The next race meeting is currently scheduled to be held at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on April 5.
This is a breaking news story, more details to follow as this story develops…