IndyCar doesn’t expect coronavirus to affect schedule

Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment – new owners of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway – says he’s not expecting the spread of coronavirus to alter the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series calendar.

IndyCar doesn’t expect coronavirus to affect schedule

Miles said he also currently doesn’t foresee any rounds being forced to run behind closed doors – i.e. without spectators – as per Formula 1’s second round, the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ahead of next weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Miles told Motorsport.com: “At this point our expectation is that all of our events will go ahead as originally scheduled and as planned – to include fans on site.

“St Pete is working closely with their local public and public health officials. They are implementing a number of procedures and expiration precautions to reduce any risks for fans and participants.”

While races on closed courses such as ovals and road circuits would be relatively easy – albeit financially painful – to either postpone, or run on schedule but without spectators, it would be a different matter for street course rounds (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Detroit’s two races and Toronto).

Should local or state regulations stipulate postponement of large crowd gatherings due to coronavirus, there would be greater threat of cancelation of the event altogether. It would be difficult for a race organizer to disrupt traffic and businesses at a time when they were not expecting and/or then forbid spectators to attend.

The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach president and CEO Jim Michaelian told Motorsport.com last weekend that GPALB is “monitoring the situation and working with the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our attendees".

However, on Sunday organizers of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at Indian Wells in California canceled this year's event as a result of Riverside County Public Health Dept. declaring a state of emergency.

The fourth race of the IndyCar season, at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), appeared to be a likely candidate as the first IndyCar race to be held with fans unable to gain entrance when the city of Austin pulled the plug on the SXSW media and music festival last Friday.

However, the PGA Tour Match Play round due to be held in Austin in three weeks’ time is set to go ahead with “established protocols to promote the health and safety of our fans and constituents”.

The first race of the IndyCar season has Firestone as its title sponsor, while the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama’s title sponsor is Honda, the Grand Prix of Long Beach since last year has been backed by Acura, while AutoNation is backing the COTA race.

The Grand Prix of Indianapolis is sponsored by GMR [Global Medical Response] while the Indy 500 is ‘presented by Gainbridge’, an online annuity and life insurance agency.

Miles told Motorsport.com: “Thus far we are in very frequent contact with all our promoters with events thru May and all expect that their events will not be significantly impacted.”

shares
comments
DragonSpeed reveals livery for IndyCar opener at St. Pete

Previous article

DragonSpeed reveals livery for IndyCar opener at St. Pete

Next article

Nasr, Daly land Carlin IndyCar drives

Nasr, Daly land Carlin IndyCar drives
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020