Indy 500 postponed until August because of coronavirus pandemic

27 Mars, 2020, 02:23 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Official Statement from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 104th Indianapolis 500 was moved from May 24 to August 23 on Thursday by IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 38-year-old Spaniard is making his third attempt at the event, and if he wins would become only the second man in history to win motorsport's "triple crown" of Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500.

The road course race's transition to July 4 means it will now form a double-header at Indianapolis featuring IndyCar and NASCAR, whose inaugural Xfinity race on the same circuit will follow on the same day.

It was an inevitable decision but still had to be hard for Roger Penske, who completed his purchase of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar in January and has already pumped millions into capital improvements to ready the historic venue for its first 500 under new ownership. "However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing. We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I'm confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world's greatest race". The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, August 21 as part of Carb Day. The first Indianapolis 500 was in 1911. President and CEO Mark Miles said.

"We're grateful for the patience of our fans as we've navigated this situation".

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"We appreciate our friends at NASCAR for their flexibility and support in this matter and will work with them on a memorable, exciting weekend of racing action".

To accommodate the Indy 500 shift, an August 16 race at Mid-Ohio was moved to August 9 and the Gateway 500 near St. Louis will be contested August 30, eight days later than originally planned.

Moving the Indy 500 required shifting two other races on a 2020 IndyCar schedule now shrunk from 17 to 14 races with Alabama, Long Beach and Austin, Texas, events cancelled due to the pandemic.

While there was no word on when the season will start, IndyCar's website shows the first race of the season in Detroit on May 30.

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