IndyCar aiming to hold 2020 Indy 500 despite coronavirus advice

David Malsher-Lopez
Autosport
IndyCar still aiming to hold 2020 Indy 500
IndyCar still aiming to hold 2020 Indy 500

IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are aiming to ensure the 2020 edition of the Indy 500 goes ahead as planned despite current advice from healthcare representatives regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

On the eve of the season-opening race St. Petersburg, IndyCar cancelled the event along with the next three rounds on the calendar at Barber Motorsports Park (Alabama), Long Beach (California) and Circuit of The Americas (Texas).

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles then told the media that the focus was on beginning the season with the two races in May - the Indianapolis road course event on May 9 and the Indy 500 on May 24.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued advice on Sunday evening that, for the next eight weeks, organisers should "cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States."

Those eight weeks would preclude the GP of Indy and the practice days for the 500 from happening, should that advice be followed.

In response, IMS put out a statement that reads: "We are aware of the CDC's interim guidance suggesting the postponement of events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks.

IndyCar still aiming to hold 2020 Indy 500
IndyCar still aiming to hold 2020 Indy 500

"Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24.

"This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials. We are planning for all contingencies and will be prepared to run the GMR Grand Prix and Indy 500 as the COVID-19 situation permits."

The United States has also levied a travel ban on nations within Europe as it seeks to halt the spread of coronavirus within the country - which could affect those who live in Europe from travelling to the US for race events should they remain in place.

Initially limited to the 26 countries in Europe who opt into the Schengen agreement, which permits free travel between numerous borders in mainland Europe, the ban will now also include the UK and Ireland from 4am GMT on Tuesday.

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