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SCHEDULE UPDATES: CDN GP ‘postponed’, Detroit IndyCar + IMSA cancelled

RACE SCHEDULES UPDATED

1. Canadian GP postponed
• F1 and the Montreal organizers have faced up to the reality that Montreal will still be under quarantine come June and they have ‘postponed’ the Canadian Grand Prix which was to have been held on June 14. So far only two Grands Prix have been cancelled outright – Australia and Monaco. F1 has effectively cancelled the usual mid-summer break in hopes that they will be able to fit in some of the events postponed from earlier in the year. However, as the pandemic continues, it is not obvious when the ‘all clear’ will be sounded and life can return to normal.
• F1 boss Ross Brawn has left open the possibility that some GPs may be run without on-site spectators. In addition, he said that only a minimum of eight races is needed to make it an official championship year – and that the absolute ‘drop dead’ date for this minimal calendar would be some time in October. Note that the Montreal Grand Prix once ran in early October and in late September a few years before it was moved to its now standard June date.

2. Detroit IndyCar and IMSA races cancelled
• The double-header IndyCar race scheduled for the last weekend in may has been cancelled. The IMSA WeatherTech race which was to form part of that weekend’s program has also been cancelled. So far this only the second IMSA race to be cancelled outright; the other cancelled race was Long Beach.
• INDYCAR has published a revised 2020 race calendar which includes some new dates and some new events to replace the cancelled ones. Here it is as of this week:
   June 6, Texas
   June 21, Road America
   June 27, Richmond Raceway
   July 4, Indianapolis IMS road course race #1
   July 12, Toronto
   July 17, Iowa Speedway Race #1 of double-header weekend
   July 18, Iowa Speedway Race #1 of double-header weekend
   August 9, Mid-Ohio sports Car Course
   August 15-16, Indianapolis 500 qualifying
  August 23, Indianapolis 500
   Aug 30, Gateway, St. Louis, MO (Madison, IL)
   September 13, Portland
   September 19, Laguna Seca, Race #1 of a double-header weekend
   September 20, Laguna Seca, Race #1 of a double-header weekend
   October 3, Indianapolis road course race #2
   Date TBA, St. Petersburg, FL
• The previously scheduled SRO Intercontinental GT 8-hour race will also be run on the October weekend alongside the IndyCar race.

3. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s May Victoria Day weekend postponed
• The CTMP management hopes to be able to reschedule this weekend’s program to some time later in the 2020 racing season.

4. How can the race organizations fit all the postponed races into the second half of the year?
• Already virtually every race calendar has been disrupted by the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many race organizations, including F1, IndyCar and NASCAR have dealt with this by postponing early-season race dates to sometime later in the season. INDYCAR has published a revised schedule but other organizations like F1 and NASCAR have not done so yet.
• No one knows when the restrictions on public gatherings will end enough to allow race events to be resumed. Even a ‘closed-door’ event with no paying spectators involves a prohibitive number of participants under lock down rules. So far the race organizers have been cancelling or postponing dates up to the end of May and into the middle of June (Le Mans). If this self-isolation regime lasts much longer than that, it seems inevitable that we will be seeing more events cancelled outright as rescheduling become impracticable for lack of viable alternative race dates in the 2020 warm weather season.

5. Keep checking the ‘CALENDAR’ section here for updated event status information
• I will be updating the CALENDAR page, which can be found elsewhere in this website, to reflect the calendar changes as they are announced. As ever, the best advice is that you should confirm the status of any event you are planning to attend by making direct contact with the race sanctioning body or the race venue itself.

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