24 Hours of Le Mans schedule condensed due to pandemic

18 June 2020 - 15:28 By Reuters
The #07 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez and the #08 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso on the grid during the Le Mans 24 Hour Race at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 15 2019 in Le Mans, France.
The #07 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez and the #08 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso on the grid during the Le Mans 24 Hour Race at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 15 2019 in Le Mans, France.
Image: James Moy Photography/Getty Images

 The rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans in September will be condensed into a four-day timetable incorporating free practice, qualifying, warm-up and the race, organisers announced on Thursday.

In the past, practice and qualifying has started on the Wednesday before the race but the 2020 race has been postponed from June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year’s extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary programme,” said the Automobile Club de l'Ouest in a statement.

“Well aware of the financial impact of the current situation on racing teams, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest was keen to ensure that their resources are not tied up over too long a period.”

The 62 cars will take to the Sarthe circuit in northwestern France on Thursday, September 17, for practice and first qualifying, with more practice and a 24-car “Hyperpole” shoot-out on Friday before the September 19-20 race.

Organisers, who have not ruled out having to run the race behind closed doors, said they would give details about spectator access on June 30.

The sports car race, now in its 88th edition, was attended by 250,000 people in June 2019 with a large number coming from Britain.


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