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SRO postpones 24 Hours of Spa due to mass gathering ban

Daniel Herrero

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Thursday 16th April, 2020 - 8:50am

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The 2019 24 Hours of Spa pic: Intercontinental GT Challenge

The Intercontinental GT Challenge’s 24 Hours of Spa has been postponed due to the lengthening of the ban on mass gatherings in Belgium.

Mass gatherings are now prohibited until August 31, a decision which threatens the Formula 1 race that was to have been held a day earlier at Spa-Francorchamps, while the national lockdown has been pushed out to May 3.

The 24 Hours of Spa was set to take place from July 23-26, but will now be run later in the year according to a statement from organisers.

“SRO Belgium fully respects the decision announced today by the Belgian government to prohibit large gatherings in the country until 31 August due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” it read.

“While the 2020 Total 24 Hours of Spa was originally scheduled to take place on 23-26 July, the race will now move to a revised date later in the year in compliance with these guidelines.

“With so much hard work and passion already invested in the event’s long-term preparation, it is naturally disappointing that it can not be staged on its traditional date. However, the safety of our fans and competitors is of the highest importance.

“What’s more, a new date is being finalised with the circuit and will be announced as soon as possible. The same level of dedication will now be focussed on creating a world-class spectacle in autumn 2020.”

The IGTC got underway with the Bathurst 12 Hour at the beginning of February, when Bentley Team M-Sport prevailed at Mount Panorama, while Spa-Francorchamps was originally to have hosted Round 2.

A revised date in the northern autumn would put Spa in September to November, potentially making for a congested finish to the season.

Suzuka is due to play host to the IGTC on August 21-23, followed by Indianapolis on October 2-4 and Kyalami on November 19-21.

The World Endurance Championship’s Spa event had already been postponed to August 13-15 and is therefore also in doubt, although whether that race and/or F1 could proceed behind closed doors is not clear.

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