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Cancelled Suzuka 10h not replaced on IGTC schedule

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Cancelled Suzuka 10h not replaced on IGTC schedule
By:
Jul 10, 2020, 9:43 AM

The Intercontinental GT Challenge has elected not to replace the cancelled Suzuka 10 Hours, meaning this year's schedule will comprise four races only.

The Stephane Ratel Organisation that organises the IGTC, as well as the various GT World Challenge series, said upon the cancellation of the Suzuka race in May that it would try and replace the event with a new race in Asia.

However, a statement issued on Friday said that a decision was made to keep the 2020 calendar at four races after "consultation with teams and manufacturers", and was made "given the current emphasis on reducing costs" in the wake of the global coronavirus crisis.

As such, the remaining three dates of the current campaign that began in Bathurst back in February will be the Indianapolis 8 Hours on October 2-4 (sharing a bill with IndyCar's second Grand Prix of Indianapolis race), the Spa 24 Hours on October 22-25 and the Kyalami 9 Hours season finale, which has been pushed back three weeks to December 10-12.

This creates a larger gap between the South African race and the final GT World Challenge Europe round at Paul Ricard on November 15.

SRO boss Stephane Ratel said: “Moving Kyalami back to mid-December is a common-sense decision that eases any logistical complications for teams travelling from Europe where most of the 9 Hour’s entry is expected to come from.

"COVID-19 itself has not been a factor in our decision, although the virus’ influence on other racing calendars – including SRO’s – has most certainly played a role in the decision, which ensures as many cars as possible have the potential to compete in South Africa.

"Last year’s 9 Hour – the first for 22 years – was an incredible success that re-established Kyalami’s place on the international motorsport map. We fully expect December’s Intercontinental GT Challenge finale to continue that legacy.

“Restricting the 2020 calendar to four events also makes complete sense. There were discussions about staging Asia’s race elsewhere, but we and our nine full-season manufacturers ultimately felt this year wouldn’t be the right time to introduce a new event.”

The 2021 IGTC season is scheduled to start with the Bathurst 12 Hours on February 6-7.

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Series Endurance
Author Jamie Klein