The Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway will be held behind closed doors, track officials have confirmed. It will mark the first time an IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship race has been held without spectators.
The State of Virginia’s restrictions on public events prohibits sporting events of more than 1,000 people. VIR president and COO Kerrigan Smith confirmed in an open letter to fans that spectators will not be allowed to be in attendance for the GT-only round on August 21-23.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have to make the official announcement; there will be no spectators allowed at this year’s Michelin GT Challenge IMSA weekend,” Smith wrote.
“We had hoped the tide would turn, but as circumstances are all too unpredictable these days, we need to make a firm commitment to this decision for planning purposes.
“We are sure there will be some frustration and disappointment, but please realize this is not what either VIR or IMSA wants to see happen and the COVID-19 situation is beyond our collective control.”
Refunds for tickets will be processed shortly, according to a statement from the track.
The decision marks the first time an IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship round has not had fans in attendance.
The first two rounds after the pandemic lockdown at Daytona and Sebring had limited numbers of fans in attendance, while spectators will also be present at this weekend’s round at Road America.