WEC’s Sebring 1000-mile race canceled amid travel ban

The FIA World Endurance Championship’s Sebring round scheduled for next week, in a double bill with IMSA’s 12 Hour race, has been canned after the U.S. banned travelers from 26 countries in mainland Europe.

On Wednesday, IMSA put out a press release stating that the second round of the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – would be going ahead despite the worldwide coronavirus threat that has put even the NBA schedule on indefinite suspension, and has caused cancelations, postponements or merely cast doubt on several motorsport events.

However, the WEC’s 1000-mile race, the other half of the ‘Super Sebring’ weekend came under threat that evening, when U.S. President Donald Trump declared a 30-day suspension of travel from 26 European countries.

The WEC responded in a statement: “Following the announcement made by President Trump at 9.00 pm (EST) on 11th March of a wide suspension of travel by non-US citizens from Europe to the USA, the leadership of the WEC has reviewed the viability of staging the Sebring 1000 Miles race planned to be held at Sebring on 20th March.

“After a careful review of the situation, it has been determined that the WEC race will be cancelled.

“Given the large number of drivers, team staff and officials who are still in Europe and who were scheduled to travel to the USA in the coming days, it would not be possible or appropriate to stage the race in their absence.

“The decision to cancel was communicated and accepted by John Doonan, President of IMSA late in the evening of 11th March.”

As well as the 1000-mile race, the two-day test that was scheduled for this weekend has also been cancelled.

WEC boss Gerard Neveu commented: “This decision was not made lightly. Our teams and officials place great value on racing at Sebring in front of its enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans.

“While this cancelation has been forced upon us because of the travel restrictions from Europe to USA, WEC remains committed at all times to the health and welfare of its teams, officials and race fans. Further, the quality of every aspect of a WEC race event is at the heart of everything that we do and will never be compromised.”

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