The President of ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) Pierre Fillon has addressed the uncertainty for endurance racing for the rest of 2020, following the developments of COVID-19.
Following the recent circumstances of the coronavirus, it became apparent that it would be unsafe to run the major motorsport events.
ACO govern a range of endurance events from the 24H Motos (super-bike) event to the WEC feeder-series’ championships and the 24 Hours of Le Mans event.
In association with the FIA, they govern the WEC and the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans.
When questioned recently about the impact of the coronavirus, Pierre expressed his understanding of the situation.
The disruption of Rounds 6 and 7 of the WEC was also announced recently, but Fillon was keen to state that the 24 Hours of Le Mans event will take place this year.
“For the 24 Hours of Le Mans (13-14 June 2020), we are monitoring the situation and following instructions issued by the authorities.”
“We shall announce our decision on 15 April; whatever happens, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will go ahead this year.”
“Sebring was cancelled in light of the travel restrictions applied by the USA,” he reminded on why the upcoming technical revelations of the LMDh prototype and the 1000 Miles of Sebring race were postponed.
“We were planning to present the ACO-IMSA merger project and the technical details for LMDh at the event.”
“We’ll set up a separate press conference as soon as possible.”
The Le Mans Hypercar is set to debut at Silverstone later this year at the beginning of Season 9 (WEC).
“It’s not easy, it’s not simple, but we’re doing our best to soften the blow for all concerned.”
“Yes, our schedules are affected, but we have no choice but to rework them and draw up new ones.”
With 200 employees, ACO are having to take precaution as the coronavirus takes its course.
“We have to take a lot more into account: health and safety first, overall postponements, availability of organisation staff and spectators, and the financial impact for the whole ecosystem.”
“It’s a question of common sense, coordination and heeding advice.”
“We are acting in the best interests of all; nothing is ever ideal. We can only minimise the impact of an unprecedented situation.”
“In most cases we are opting to postpone events,” referring to the current action over endurance races like the 24H Motos and more.
“It’s like doing a big jigsaw puzzle together,” he said describing the complexity of the situation.
President Fillon is certainly keen to have the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans event take place, as many fans would too, but a matter of welfare and safety has been prioritised.
ACO will make their decision by April 15 over if Le Mans will take place on June 13-14 2020.