The NTT IndyCar Series has made the decision to reschedule the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 to August 23 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway had previously stated it would continue preparing for the famous race to be run as scheduled, however, the situation over the pandemic remains fluid.
This is the first time the Indy 500 will take place outside of the month of May in peacetime; the race has only seen previous disruptions due to both World Wars.
The GMR IndyCar Grand Prix has also seen its place on the calendar moved to the national holiday weekend of July 4.
“The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500,” said series owner, Roger Penske
“However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.
“We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I’m confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world’s greatest race.”
The 2020 IndyCar campaign had originally been set to get underway at the Grand Prix of St.Petersburg on March 15, however, the event was abandoned in the days leading up to the race.
Subsequent rounds at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Circuit of The Americas were also cancelled earlier this week.
The ever-growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced sporting events all across the globe to be either cancelled and or postponed.
Formula 1 has also been forced to postpone events that fell inside the month of May, meaning the return of the Dutch Grand Prix, as well as the events in Spain and Monaco have fallen off its schedule.
The 2019/20 World Endurance Championship’s season finale – the Le Mans 24hr – has also been moved from June to September in an attempt to see the season completed.
After this latest round of changes, the first scheduled IndyCar event of the 2020 season is now the ‘Dual in Detroit’ double-header on May 30/31.