On Sunday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated guidance for dealing with the rapidly-spreading coronavirus.
The new guidance recommends that “for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States,” which would include the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis currently scheduled for May 9.
This guidance from the CDC is not a mandate that would itself be enforced upon event organizers, but will directly influence any upcoming state or local restrictions that could affect the race.
Currently, the GMR Grand Prix is set to be the first race of the 2020 NTT IndyCar season as the first four races have already been cancelled due to the spread of the virus.
In addition, the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 24, just two weeks after the GMR Grand Prix, and could easily be included in the restrictions if they are further expanded.
In a recent press conference, Mark Miles, President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corporation, stated the races in May have become the main focus for the series at this point.
“I would just say we are absolutely focused on May,” said Miles.
“We will obviously evaluate everything every day, by the hour. We’ll make any changes we have to make.
“But our mindset and our efforts are completely dedicated to being ready to put on a great show throughout May.”
Early this year Roger Penske completed his purchase of the IndyCar series and the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and would like to see the series’ biggest event continue ahead if at all possible.
If the Indy 500 were to be delayed or cancelled, it would be the first such occurrence outside of cancellations due to World War I and World War II since the race’s inception in 1911.
Of course, the situation surrounding the coronavirus is changing rapidly and only time will tell how much of the season will be able to proceed as planned.