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Weekly Racing Roundup (3.23.20)

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 on global racing, plus other news from the past week…

Photo: GT Open

COVID-19 Impact Update

***The International GT Open’s season-opener at Circuit Paul Ricard has been moved from April 23-26 to Aug. 20-23. Both of the series’ pre-season tests have already been canceled.

***The first three NLS races have now been postponed, with the April 18 event now written off. A new schedule for the Nürburgring-based series is yet to be released.

***Lime Rock Park has closed to the public until April 30, following executive orders by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Meanwhile, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has postponed three events: SCCA last weekend, Trans-Am on March 26-29, and Porsche Club of America on April 3-5.

***The postponement of Road Atlanta’s Trans Am round means the series’ next race is scheduled for May 1-3 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Trans Am has also postponed its West Coast Championship round at Thunderhill Raceway from April 3-5.

***The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship has delayed any further racing until June, postponing events in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth until later in the year. It has, however, promised that the Bathurst 1000 will go ahead on its scheduled date of Oct. 8-11.

***The Australian Racing Group’s Bathurst 6 Hour, meanwhile, has been moved from April 10-12 to Nov. 13-15.

***The CAMS Australian GT Championship has pushed back its next two rounds at Bathurst and Barbagallo, meaning its next scheduled race weekend is now Aug. 14-16 at Phillip Island.

***Organizers of the Pau Grand Prix have postponed its running from May 22-24 (modern) and May 30 – June 1 (historics) indefinitely. This has impacted the FFSA GT4 France season-opener, which is now expected to take place at Ledenon on June 18-21 with both Nogaro and Pau moved back.

***Further disruption has come to the Ultimate Cup Series calendar, with its Barcelona, Estoril and Dijon rounds now affected. Estoril has moved from April 10-12 to Nov. 26-29, but the Barcelona and Dijon races scheduled for March 20-22 and May 1-3 are yet to be confirmed in new dates. The series’ next planned round is Navarra on June 26-28.

***Ferrari Challenge rounds at Indianapolis and Snetterton have been postponed. Both events were scheduled for April 17-19, and were set to host the third round of Ferrari Challenge North America, and opening round of Ferrari Challenge UK, respectively.

***Mazda is yet to communicate rescheduled dates for the first two rounds of the Global MX-5 Cup, which were set to take place at Barber Motorsports Park and Circuit of The Americas.

***Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has offered its factory building to be used as a temporary hospital “for as long as necessary”. The facility, in Danbury, Conn., was previously used by Highcroft Racing and was only recently purchased by Glickenhaus.

***Face masks are being produced in CORE autosport’s race shop by Composite Resources, which usually manufactures composite components for the aerospace and defense industries.

***JRM Group is among the companies to make available precision manufacturing facilities for producing medical components. UK health secretary Matt Hancock recently made a call-to-action for British manufacturing companies, including Prodrive, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce, to switch production to medical ventilators.

***Two leading GT3 teams – WRT and Orange1 FFF Racing Team – were set to launch their programs in events at their respective factories on April 7 and April 9, but both were officially canceled last week.

Photo: ADAC

News & Notes

***HTP Winward Motorsport has revealed its ADAC GT Masters lineups, with two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos set to compete in the German series. Raffaele Marciello will partner Philip Ellis, while last year’s pairing of Indy Dontje and Maxi Goetz returns for another season in the yellow and green Mann-Filter ‘Mamba’ car.

***Callaway Competition has confirmed that its Corvette C7 GT3-R will return to GT Masters this year. The German team has signed Jeffrey Schmidt from the BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi squad to partner Markus Pommer for the season. Schmidt replaces Marvin Kirchhoefer, whose contractual obligations with R-Motorsport prevented him from returning to the Callaway lineup.

***The GT4 South European Series has revealed its 2020 calendar for the first time, with rounds at Jarama (June 6-7), Portimao (July 11-12), Jerez (Oct. 17-18) and Estoril (Dec. 12-13).

***Experienced Formula Ford racer Matt Cowley will make his British GT debut this year, sharing one of Academy Motorsport’s ex-Multimatic Ford Mustang GT4s with Jordan Albert. Cowley drove an Academy-run Aston Martin in last year’s GT4 European Series.

***Reigning ADAC GT4 Germany teams’ champion Hofer Racing by Bonk has named drivers for its title defense. Gabriele Piana replaces Thomas Jaeger alongside the returning Michael Schrey in one BMW M4 GT4, while Claudia Hürtgen and Sebastian von Gartzen will drive the sister car.

***Former Rebellion Racing LMP1 driver Mathias Beche is set to compete in Japanese Super GT this year, driving a GT300-class Lexus RC F GT3 with Sean Walkinshaw, according to Endurance-info. The pair will be joined by Thailand’s Nattapong Hortongkum for the endurance races.

***Revolution Race Cars has developed the first FIA-compliant halo safety structure for a two-seater race car, implementing the technology on its new A-One prototype. The structure is inspired by designs seen in Formula 1 and Formula E. Sir Chris Hoy recently tested the Revolution A-One, which will compete in the Revolution Trophy and Sports Prototype Cup.

***2016 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup champion Enzo Ide will return to racing in the FIA European Rallycross Championship later this year, just months after coming out of a medically-induced coma. The Belgian will drive for JC Raceteknik in an Audi S1 Supercar.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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