The first three British Touring Car Championship events have been postponed as a result of COVID-19, series organisers TOCA have confirmed.
The BTCC media day and official pre-season test are taking place today, although the public were prevented from attending the event after the British Government issued further advice on Monday afternoon.
But in light of the new advice, TOCA has now confirmed that the first three events of the season are to be postponed, meaning that the earliest the season will get underway is the Thruxton event on May 16-17.
A statement issued by TOCA said: “Yesterday (16 March) the government introduced updated coronavirus directives.
“These included asking citizens to avoid all non-essential social contact and non-essential travel, as well as advising of the withdrawal of the provision of emergency services to mass gatherings.
“TOCA of course completely respects the government’s directives.
“The health of our entire nation – not just our competitors, fans, marshals, officials and personnel – is of absolute importance.
“Accordingly, the start of the 2020 BTCC must now be delayed and we therefore advise the postponement of our first three events:
- Donington Park (March 28/29)
- Brands Hatch (April 11/12)
- Silverstone (April 25/26)
Clearly the COVID-19 situation is ever-changing and incredibly challenging for everyone.
“Our firm intention is to run the full season of ten events and we will work closely with the circuits and our stakeholders in order to reschedule new dates for all postponed events.
“These will be confirmed and announced when there is further clarity regarding the eventual resumption of major sporting events.’
Although the BTCC still intends to hold rounds at Donington, Brands Hatch and Silverstone at some point this season, it is still unknown if they will be bolted on to the end of the season, or if they will be fitted in between the events unaffected so far.