As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been delayed to 19-20 September 2020, away from the initial 13-14 June 2020 date.
This delay has also affected the calendar of Season 9 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which was set to begin in September at Silverstone (UK).
A statement from ACO has said: “Restrictions are currently in force in France and other countries around the world to curb the spread of coronavirus.”
“Consequently, race organiser (Automobile Club de l’Ouest – ACO) has decided, in conjunction with the Féderation Internationale Automobile (FIA) and the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), to postpone the 24 Hours of Le Mans originally set for 13-14 June 2020.”
“The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will affect the FIA WEC calendars; the revised dates will be communicated shortly.”
“The European Le Mans Series (ELMS), Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ligier European Series Calendars will also be updated.”
“All this information will be released in due course as will the exact schedule for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans,” looking at the impact on the endurance feeder series’.
Pierre Fillon, President of ACO has stated: “Postponing the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the original dates in June is now the most appropriate way forward in the current exceptional circumstances.”
“First and foremost, I urge everyone to avoid putting themselves, their loved ones and others at risk.”
“The most important thing today is to curtail the spread of this virus. Our thoughts go out to medical staff working relentlessly for the sake of us all.”
“The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans means making changes to the WEC and ELMS calendars and we shall announce the new dates shortly. The safety and quality of our events will not be compromised.”
“Competitors, sponsors, fans, media, medical services and organisers – it is time to pull together, more than ever before,” he said to unite people on what has been a difficult situation for spectators worldwide.
Gérard Neveu, the CEO of the FIA WEC and ELMS (feeder) championships has also made it clear about the evolution of the situation.
“It is the right decision to delay in light of the current situation,” he said.
“We are now working on revising our WEC and ELMS calendars for the remainder of this season, and for the WEC’s Season 9 which was due to start in September 2020. ”
“We will come back to you in the coming days with more news for both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.”