Next month’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway will be run behind closed doors, in the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Confirmed by track officials on Wednesday, the Aug. 21-23 event featuring the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes will not allow fans due to the State of Virginia’s restrictions on public events.
The state is currently still in Phase 3 of its reopening plan that prohibits sporting events of more than 1,000 people.
“We had hoped the tide would turn, but as circumstances are all too unpredictable these days, we need to make a firm commitment to this decision for planning purposes,” said track president and COO Kerrigan Smith in a letter to fans.
“We are sure there will be some frustration and disappointment, but please realize this is not what either VIR or IMSA wants to see happen and the COVID-19 situation is beyond our collective control.”
SRO America’s event at the 3.27-mile circuit earlier this month was also held without fans.
It will mark the first closed-door event for IMSA, following the allowance of a limited number of spectators for its two Florida events at Daytona and Sebring, as well as this weekend’s round at Road America due to Wisconsin’s differing protocols on COVID-19.
Refunds for already purchased tickets will be processed shortly, according to a statement from the track.