Barcelona loses ELMS date amid uptick in COVID-19 cases
Barcelona has lost its place on the 2020 European Le Mans Series calendar amid a worsening of the coronavirus situation in Spain, and will be replaced by a second race at Paul Ricard.
The move comes amid a fresh increase of COVID-19 cases in Spain and in particular the Catalonia region in recent weeks, which has led to those travelling to the country being subjected to quarantine on their return to the UK.
With the Barcelona round on August 29 coming just three weeks before the Le Mans 24 Hours, the decision was made to relocate the race to Paul Ricard, which held the season-opener behind closed doors last month.
ELMS boss Gerard Neveu commented: “These are complicated and uncertain times which call for us to react to guarantee the safety for everyone who works in the ELMS paddock, which is our top priority.
"The current situation with regards to COVID-19 in Spain has logically led us to take this course of action. The level of risk in Catalunya is high enough to justify the restrictive return travel measures. The teams would not be able to apply those measures (such as quarantine) only a few weeks before the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"Nobody enjoys these kinds of changes but once again the health situation to date is imposing on us some exceptional conditions.
“We would like to first thank the staff at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for their understanding and we can’t wait to go back in 2021 to Barcelona."
The second round of the ELMS season is taking place this weekend at Spa, while two more races are planned for after Le Mans on September 19-20, at Monza on October 11 and finally Portimao on November 1.
Barcelona becomes the second track on the series' original 2020 calendar to lose its date as a result of the coronavirus pandemic after Silverstone.
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