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Coronavirus: When will motorsport resume in 2020?

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Coronavirus: When will motorsport resume in 2020?
May 28, 2020, 6:57 AM

The global coronavirus pandemic has caused sporting events around the world to be postponed and cancelled, with Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, IndyCar and World Superbike among them.

Other series have also paused races in response to the coronavirus outbreak, as large public gatherings will inevitably increase the risk of transmission between hosts.

As series react to the ever-changing effects of the evolving COVID-19 situation, this page will be updated with cancellations and postponements should any more be forthcoming.

When will the 2020 Formula 1 season begin?

As the coronavirus outbreak is widely regarded to have originated in the city of Wuhan, the Chinese Grand Prix was swiftly postponed in the interests of public health.

The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on the Friday of its race weekend, after a McLaren team member had tested positive for coronavirus. Seven further members of the F1 paddock were also tested, but their results were found to be negative.

Since then, several other races have been postponed, while the grands prix in Monaco, France and the Netherlands won't take place at all this year.

F1 announced in early June that the 2020 season will begin in Austria on July 5 with a pair of races at the Red Bull Ring, before six further rounds are held in Europe through to September, including a double header at Silverstone in August.

Formula 2 and Formula 3 will be on the F1 support bill for the opening eight rounds in Europe.

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Confirmed and likely cancellations:

Australian GP - Albert Park (confirmed)

Monaco GP - Monte Carlo (confirmed)

Dutch GP - Zandvoort (confirmed)

Canadian GP - Montreal (likely)

French GP - Paul Ricard (confirmed)

Singapore GP - Marina Bay (likely)

Potential calendar as of June 2:

July 5: Austrian GP - Red Bull Ring (confirmed)

July 12: Styrian GP - Red Bull Ring (confirmed)

July 19: Hungarian GP - Hungaroring (confirmed)

August 2: British GP - Silverstone (confirmed)

August 9: 70th Anniversary GP - Silverstone (confirmed)

August 16: Spanish GP - Barcelona (confirmed)

August 30: Belgian GP - Spa (confirmed)

September 6: Italian GP - Monza (confirmed)

September 20: Azerbaijan GP - Baku

September 27: Russian GP - Sochi

October 4: Chinese GP - Shanghai

October 11: Japanese GP - Suzuka

October 25: US GP - Circuit of the Americas

November 1: Mexican GP - Mexico City

November 8: Brazilian GP - Interlagos

November 22: Vietnam GP - Hanoi

November 29: Bahrain ‘2’

December 6: Bahrain GP - Sakhir

December 13: Abu Dhabi GP - Yas Marina

When will the 2020 MotoGP season begin?

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

A week before the Qatar MotoGP season opener, tightened quarantine restrictions on Italian travellers gave promoter Dorna Sports no choice but to scrap the race, despite its hopes to get all the personnel needed to start the race into the country on a charter flight from Nice.

As more countries reacted to the COVID-19 situation, MotoGP's second, third and fourth rounds in Thailand, America and Argentina were all postponed and rescheduled.

However, the worsening situation in Europe meant the following races at Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona were postponed with no new dates given, while the next three events at Sachsenring, Assen and KymiRing were cancelled altogether.

On May 7 it was confirmed that Dorna had struck an agreement to hold the opening two rounds of the season at Jerez behind closed doors in late July on consecutive weekends, subject to approval from the Spanish government.

Since then, MotoGP races at Silverstone and Phillip Island have also been called off, as well as the Japanese race at Motegi, taking the number of race cancellations up to six.

A calendar of between 10-12 European races is being planned, with the potential for flyaway races to be added to the end of this should conditions allow.

Latest 2020 MotoGP calendar:

Date Event Venue
March 8 Qatar - Moto2 and Moto3 only Losail
May 17 France - postponed, no new date  Le Mans
May 31 Italy - postponed, no new date Mugello
June 7 Catalunya - postponed, no new date Barcelona
July 19 Spain - subject to approval Jerez
July 26 Andalusia - subject to approval Jerez
August 9 Czech Republic Brno
August 16 Austria Red Bull Ring
September 13 San Marino Misano
September 27 Aragon Motorland Aragon
October 4 Thailand Buriram
November 1 Malaysia Sepang
November 15 GP of the Americas COTA
November 22 Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
November 29 Valencia Ricardo Tormo

What is happening in NASCAR?

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Valvoline Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Kroger

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Valvoline Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Kroger

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

NASCAR tried desperately to continue its current season as planned by staging its Atlanta race and Homestead-Miami event behind closed doors.

But, as the United States government finally declared COVID-19 a national emergency, these plans have been scuppered. On March 16, NASCAR announced a suspension of its season through May 3, adding five more races to its confirmed list of postponements. A month later, they called off what was supposed to be the inaugural night race at Martinsville Speedway.

At the end of April, NASCAR finally released plans to go back racing on May 17 with a revised schedule that included one-day shows, midweek races and fans barred from attending. This would include four races in just ten days at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

We learned in early May that races at Sonoma, Chicagoland and the spring race at Richmond have all been cancelled.

On May 14, NASCAR released more of its revised schedule, outlining events until June 21.

Revised schedule:

Date Track Series Distance Network Start (ET)
Sun, May 17  Darlington Cup 400mi FOX 3:30 PM
Tue, May 19 Darlington Xfinity 200mi FS1 8:00 PM
Wed, May 20  Darlington Cup 500km FS1 7:30 PM
Sun, May 24 Charlotte Cup 600mi FOX 6:00 PM
Mon, May 25 Charlotte Xfinity 300mi FS1 7:30 PM
Tue, May 26 Charlotte Trucks 200mi FS1 8:00 PM
Wed, May 27  Charlotte Cup 500km FS1 8:00 PM
Sat, May 30  Bristol

Xfinity

160mi FS1 3:30 PM

Sun, May 31

Bristol Cup 66mi FS1 3:30 PM
Sat, June 6 Atlanta Trucks 200mi FS1 1:00 PM
Sat, June 6 Atlanta Xfinity 251mi FOX 4:30 PM
Sun, June 7 Atlanta Cup 500mi FOX 3:00 PM
Wed, June 10 Martinsville Cup 263mi FS1 7:00 PM
Sat, June 13 Homestead Trucks 201mi FS1 12:30 PM
Sat, June 13 Homestead Xfinity 250mi FOX 3:30 PM
Sun, June 14 Homestead Xfinity 250mi FS1 12:00 PM
Sun, June 14 Homestead Cup 400mi FOX 3:30 PM

Sat, June 20

Talladega ARCA 202mi FS1 2:00 PM
Sat, June 20 Talladega Xfinity 300mi FS1 5:30 PM
Sun, June 21 Talladega Cup 500mi FOX 3:00 PM

 

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Postponements:

Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 - Atlanta Motor Speedway - 15 March

Dixie Vodka 400 - Homestead-Miami Speedway - 22 March

O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 - Texas Motor Speedway - 29 March

Food City 500 - Bristol Motor Speedway - 5 April

Toyota Owners 400 - Richmond Raceway - 19 April

GEICO 500 - Talladega Superspeedway - 26 April

Dover 400 - Dover International Speedway - 3 May

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 - Martinsville Speedway - 9 May

When will the 2020 IndyCar season begin?

 

Photo by: Scott R LePage / Motorsport Images

The 2020 IndyCar season will be getting underway at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, with the event – practice, qualifying, race – squeezed into one day. The race will be shortened to 200 laps, no fans will be allowed, and only 20 team members will be permitted per entry

Initially, the series called off its first four events in St Petersburg, Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama, Long Beach and the Circuit of the Americas.

Then on March 26, the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis was confirmed as moving to July 4, forming a unique and very welcome double-header with the NASCAR Xfinity round which this year is switching from the Speedway to the IMS road course.

At the same time, the Indianapolis 500 was shifted to August, with qualifying occurring over the weekend of Aug. 15-16 and the 104th running of the race being held on Aug. 23.

The postponement until 2021 of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo freed up the July/August schedule for IndyCar's TV partner NBC, allowing a shuffle of the July and August schedule beyond just the insertion of the two Indianapolis races. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will now run on Aug. 9, and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is now set for Aug. 30. The Grand Prix of Portland, too, has been shifted back one week.

On April 6, IndyCar revealed that what had been set as the new season-opening event – the Detroit Grand Prix double-header – had also bitten the dust, and with no hope of rescheduling. 

In its stead, both the Iowa Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca events would be turned into double-headers, while a second event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – the Harvest Grand Prix – had been added for Saturday, Oct. 3.

However, it has not been set as a finale, because what was once regarded as a canceled season-opener, the 17th Indy car race at St. Petersburg, was redefined as postponed. On May 13,  this was indeed proven to be the case, with St. Pete being announced as the season-closer, to be held on Oct. 25.

On May 21, Richmond was scrubbed from the schedule, while Toronto was also deleted, despite Green Savoree Promotions suggesting earlier in the week they were hoping to squeeze in a new date in the fall. Road America became a double-header and was moved to July to fill what was previously the Canadian round's date. That currently leaves a four-week gap between Rounds 1 and 2 of the sadly butchered 2020 schedule. 

Confirmed cancellations:

Barber Motorsport Park, Birmingham, Alabama - 5 April
Long Beach, California - 19 April
Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas - 26 April
Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan - 30-31 May 
Richmond Raceway, Virginia - June 27
Toronto, Canada - July 12*
*Promoters seeking to reschedule

Revised, tentative 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule:

Saturday, June 6 - Texas Motor Speedway 
Saturday, July 4 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 
Saturday, July 11 - Road America 
Sunday, July 12 - Road America 
Friday, July 17 - Iowa Speedway 
Saturday, July 18 - Iowa Speedway 
Sunday, Aug. 9 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 
Sunday, Aug. 23 - Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 
Sunday, Aug. 30 - World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Sunday, Sept. 13 - Portland International Raceway 
Saturday, Sept. 19 - WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca 
Sunday, Sept. 20 - WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca 
Saturday, Oct. 3 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 
Sunday, Oct. 25 - Streets of St. Petersburg

When will the World Superbike season resume?

Chaz Davies, ARUBA.IT Racing Ducati

Chaz Davies, ARUBA.IT Racing Ducati

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

World Superbike was fortunate to squeeze in its season-opener in Phillip Island shortly before the COVID-19 situation dramatically worsened in Europe.

However, not long after the three Phillip Island races, it was announced that the second round at Qatar - due to take place a week after the MotoGP race - was placed on hold.

A revised calendar was subsequently issued that did not give the Qatar round a new date, but did feature the third round of the season at Jerez being rescheduled for October. The Assen race was postponed on March 24, and rescheduled for late August.

In mid-April, another calendar revision was issued with May's Imola round being axed entirely and the following two events at Aragon and Misano being postponed, meaning the season now won't resume until July's Donington Park round at the earliest.

On May 7, the Oschersleben round, due to take place at the start of August, was also cancelled, with the Jerez race pushed forward to early August. In late May, it was confirmed the season would restart at the Spanish track, with the Donington Park round postponed.

Revised 2020 WSBK calendar:

Date Venue
February 28-March 1  Phillip Island
March 13-15   Losail - postponed but no new date assigned
July 3-5   Donington Park - postponed but no new date assigned
July 31-August 2  Jerez
August 7-9  Portimao
August 21-23  Assen - postponed but no new date assigned
August 28-30  Aragon
September 18-20   Catalunya
October 2-4  Magny-Cours
October 9-11  El Villicum
October 23-25  Jerez
November 6-8  Misano

When will the Formula E season resume?

Felipe Massa, Venturi, EQ Silver Arrow 01 Maximilian Günther, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20, Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE06

Felipe Massa, Venturi, EQ Silver Arrow 01 Maximilian Günther, BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.20, Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE06

Photo by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

The 2019/20 Formula E season has been placed on hold for the foreseeable future.

The Sanya E-Prix was first to be postponed at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, followed by the Rome E-Prix after the spread of the virus intensified dramatically in northern Italy.

FE's announcement in early March meant that the Paris round, along with calendar newcomers Seoul and Jakarta, have also been postponed until further notice. In mid-April, series chiefs made the call to postpone the Berlin race scheduled for late June, and a month later it was decided to axe the remaining two rounds on the schedule in New York and London.

Plans are afoot to conclude the current season with as many as three events - with Berlin and Seoul the leading candidates to host races, along with a permanent British track such as Donington Park or Brands Hatch - starting in late July or August.

However, FE chief Alejandro Agag has stated that the season will not extend beyond September, with the following campaign due to kick off in December, and that it if remains impossible to get racing again by then the 2019/20 campaign will be simply abandoned.

Confirmed postponements:

Sanya E-Prix - China - 21 March

Rome E-Prix - Italy - 4 April 

Paris E-Prix - France - 18 April

Seoul E-Prix - South Korea - 3 May 

Jakarta E-Prix - Indonesia - 6 June 

Berlin E-Prix - Germany - 21 June

New York E-Prix - USA - 11 July

London E-Prix - UK - 25/26 July

When will the FIA World Endurance Championship season resume?

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Following the cancellation of the Sebring 1000 Miles event, the FIA World Endurance Championship was left with little option but to postpone the following race at Spa, that was due to take place on April 25, leaving only the Le Mans 24 Hours left on the 2019/20 schedule.

The ACO then postponed the 24 Hours of Le Mans until September 19-20, using a date similar to that used in 1968 when strikes and civil unrest forced it from its usual mid-summer spot. 

ACO President Pierre Fillon told Motorsport.com that he's willing to push back Le Mans until as late as November, should it become impossible to host the race on its rescheduled September date.

The preceding Spa WEC race has been provisionally pencilled in for August 15, but this could become a closed-doors race given the Belgian government has banned all mass gatherings until the end of August.

Postponing Le Mans will mean a later start to the next WEC season, which was originally due to begin in September at Silverstone but will now instead kick off in March next year, most likely at Sebring.

As such, the Silverstone, Monza, Fuji and Kyalami races on the original 2020/21 calendar are all in jeopardy, with series boss Gerard Neveu not ruling out a condensed schedule.

Confirmed cancellations/postponements:

Sebring 1000 Miles - USA - 13 March (cancelled, replaced by new Bahrain race)

Spa 6 Hours - Belgium - 25 April (postponed to August 15)

Le Mans 24 Hours - France - 13-14 June (postponed to September 19-20)

When will the Supercars season resume?

Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Photo by: Dirk Klynsmith / Motorsport Images

Supercars has confirmed that its season will resume with its second round of 2020 at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27/28.

The revised schedule will mean a total of 12 rounds for the season, two less than planned, with two of those events taking place in 2021 – New Zealand in January and a second trip to Bathurst on the first weekend in February.

Formats are yet to be confirmed, with all events except the two at Mount Panorama currently scheduled over two days. 

Revised 2020 Supercars calendar:

*Subject to change

Round

Circuit

Date

2

Sydney Motorsport Park

June 27-28

3

Winton, Victoria

July 18-19

4

Hidden Valley, NT

August 8-9

5

Townsville, QLD

August 29-30

6

The Bend Motorsport Park, SA 

September 19-20

7

Mount Panorama (Bathurst 1000), NSW

October 8-11

8

Wanneroo Raceway, WA

October 31 - November 1

9

Symmons Plains, Tasmania

November 21-22

10

Sandown, Victoria

December 12-13

11

New Zealand (circuit TBA)

January 9-10

12

Mount Panorama (Bathurst 12 Hour), NSW

February 5-7

When will the World Rally Championship resume?

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

The WRC was fortunate enough to get three rounds under its belt before being brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the opening Monte Carlo event in January, February's Rally Sweden and Rally Mexico in March all being completed.

However, the final day of Rally Mexico was stopped to help people working in the paddock return home prior to travel restrictions being imposed.

The fifth round in Argentina originally slated for the end of April was also put on hold after the country put a temporary ban on international sporting events. That was followed by the news that the following two events in Portugal and Italy would also have to be delayed, before Rally Portugal was cancelled altogether at the end of April.

The Safari Rally was called off just two weeks later, followed by Rally Finland and Rally New Zealand at the start of June.

Confirmed postponements/cancellations:

Rally Argentina - April 30-1 May

Rally Portugal - May 21-24 (cancelled)

Rally Italy - June 4-8

Safari Rally - July 16-19 (cancelled)

Rally Finland - August 6-9 (cancelled)

Rally New Zealand - September 3-6 (cancelled)

Elsewhere in the off-road world, the World Rallycross season is on hold until August, with a new calendar for the series being issued on May 4.

How will coronavirus affect other international events?

Jamie Green, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM

Jamie Green, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

After cancelling its pre-season test at Hockenheim, on March 25 the DTM announced a new calendar, with the season now set to commence at the Norisring in July. Another revised calendar was issued on June 3 featuring a visit to Spa, and dropping the planned rounds at Igora Drive, Anderstorp, Brands Hatch and Monza.

The FIA World Touring Car Cup issued a revised Europe-only calendar on May 28, featuring a run of six rounds in Europe from September to November. The BTCC meanwhile issued a new calendar late in April, revealing that the season would now start in August, most likely behind closed doors, and end in November.

In Japan, both Super Formula and SUPER GT have delayed the opening races of their respective schedules. Super Formula is now due to get underway at Motegi on August 29-30, while a radically revised SUPER GT calendar now begins at Fuji in mid-July.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume in July with a pair of behind closed door races at Daytona and Sebring, with the Sebring 12 Hours having been rescheduled for November. The Long Beach, Detroit and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park rounds have been cancelled.

Elsewhere in sportscar racing, the European Le Mans Series has dropped Silverstone from its revised calendar and is set to begin at Paul Ricard in July, while the GT World Challenge Europe (formerly Blancpain GT Series) is also set to begin in July at Imola, with its blue riband Spa 24 Hours round delayed until October.

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