IndyCar’s season-opening St Petersburg race will go ahead without spectators amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A statement issued jointly by IndyCar and event organisers Green Savoree Racing Promotions confirms that only ‘essential personnel’ will be allowed into the circuit.
IndyCar sessions have been condensed into two days and the event more broadly, including support categories, into three, a reduction of one day.
“INDYCAR and Green Savoree Racing Promotions, in conjunction with the city of St. Petersburg, announced Thursday that all activities surrounding Sunday’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be closed to spectators and limited to essential personnel only,” read the statement.
“This protocol is being put in place to protect the health and welfare of the fans, drivers, teams, workers and officials, as we mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“The race weekend will operate from Friday through Sunday, with INDYCAR on-track sessions limited to Saturday and Sunday. The activities also include Road To Indy, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, and SRO Motorsports Group America on a condensed schedule.
“A press release with full details, including a revised schedule, will be issued with additional details later today.”
Aside from Scott Dixon and Will Power in the IndyCar Series itself, New Zealander Hunter McElrea and Australian Cameron Shields are slated to race in St Petersburg in Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 respectively.
The event will now start on Friday (local time).