Porsche has announced that it will not be taking part in this weekend’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio after three team members were tested positive for COVID-19 during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while also pulling factory drivers from the Nürburgring 24 Hours
The German manufacturer has subsequently decided that, as a precautionary measure, any of the team members present at Le Mans will not be sent to both the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the IMSA round at Mid-Ohio.
Factory drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Fred Makowiecki were a part of Porsche’s GTE Pro line-up at Le Mans, while Nick Tandy competed with G-Drive from Algarve in LMP2.
Additionally, nine other drivers active at Le Mans have also been pulled from their respective entries in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This includes GTE Pro drivers Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz as well as GTE Am contenders Matteo Cairoli, Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer, Thomas Preining. Also affected are Romain Dumas, who competed with Rebellion Racing, and Patrick Pilet, who was a late entry at IDEC Sport.
While only Porsche’s factory GTLM outfit in IMSA has been affected, the decision to not send any drivers to the Nürburgring has had an impact on KCMG, Frikadelli Racing, Falken Motorsport and Manthey Racing, the latter of which has withdrawn the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R from the race altogether.
“People’s health comes first for us,” Fritz Enzinger said about the Nürburgring situation. “Given the current situation, it’s very clear to us that we put the needs of many ahead of our sporting goals. We’ll do everything we can to give our customer teams the best possible support in the upcoming race by providing operational personnel and available works drivers.”
Enzinger later also commented on the choice to withdraw from the IMSA round at Mid-Ohio, stating:
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio. This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be travelling to the USA.”
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasise that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”