IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix called off, won't run later

AFP
Reigning champion Alexander Rossi will have to wait until 2021 to try and win his third straight IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach after organizers announced Wednesday they were calling off their bid to reschedule the race, postponed by the coronavirus outbreak (AFP Photo/JONATHAN FERREY)
Reigning champion Alexander Rossi will have to wait until 2021 to try and win his third straight IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach after organizers announced Wednesday they were calling off their bid to reschedule the race, postponed by the coronavirus outbreak (AFP Photo/JONATHAN FERREY)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Organizers of the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach gave up on trying to reschedule the race later this year and cancelled the event Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Southern California street race had been contested every year since its founding in 1975 in Formula 5000 and eight seasons in Formula One from 1976-1983.

"Over the past few days, we have actively pursued the possibility of rescheduling the Grand Prix to a later date this year," said Jim Michaelian, president of the Grand Prix Association.

"We're very disappointed we were unable to put something together for all our loyal fans and valued clients, but trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020.

"As a result, our attention will now be focused on planning the 46th Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021."

US driver Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and the Indy runner-up last year, must wait until next year to try and capture a third consecutive Long Beach crown.

Long Beach joins St. Petersburg, Florida; Austin, Texas and Birmingham, Alabama as 2020 races that have been lost to the virus.

The next race remaining on the IndyCar Series schedule is the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 with the 104th Indianapolis 500 oval classic still set for May 24.

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