Start, IndyCar, St Petersburg, 2019

IndyCar and NASCAR to hold races without spectators this weekend


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IndyCar’s season-opening race this weekend and the upcoming two NASCAR Cup series races will be held in front of empty stands as a precaution due to the Coronavirus.

The 2020 IndyCar series is due to begin on the St Petersburg street course this weekend.

The championship today announced 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.” Some accredited media will also be permitted to attend.

“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 event will run to a revised, compressed schedule. “The race weekend will operate from Friday through Sunday, with IndyCar on-track sessions limited to Saturday and Sunday,” said the promoters.

“The activities also include Road To Indy, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, and SRO Motorsports Group America on a condensed schedule.”

NASCAR’s races at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and Homestead-Miami next weekend will also be held behind closed doors. “We will work with public health officials as we determine future scheduling beyond these events,” said the championship in a statement.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “IndyCar and NASCAR to hold races without spectators this weekend”

  1. I’d say that’s a good move. Unlike F1 where team members are infected and McLaren has pulled out, no one (we know) within IndyCar is infected and to cancel completely would be wrong. It will be super bizarre seeing it without people, but better than nothing.

    Calling all F1 fans, there will be open wheel racing with IndyCar (for now), just no people.

    1. John Ballantyne
      12th March 2020, 22:22

      Many US fans will tell the security guards at the gate to take a hike in exchange for a cool fifty…….bless ’em!

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