The current U.S./Canada border closure has left Pfaff Motorsports undecided on when it will return to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition according to team manager Steve Bortolotti.
The Toronto-based squad, which finished third in the GT Daytona championship last year, faces an uncertain short-term future due to the current travel restrictions between the two neighboring countries, which is currently set to expire on June 21.
However, recent media reports have indicated the restriction for non-essential personnel is expected to be extended, which would impact Pfaff, and potentially other Canadian-based IMSA teams.
“It’s undecided at this time,” Bortolotti said to Sportscar365 on whether the team will be in Daytona for the series restart on July 3-4.
“We’re monitoring the border situation closely between the United States and Canada. Eighty-five percent of my team is based internationally, predominantly in Canada, obviously with the exception of Dennis [Olsen] being in Norway.
“We’re Canadians working for a Canadian company and paid in Canadian dollars so things like visas for us to just live in the U.S. aren’t as easy as some who are international and working for American teams.
“There’s just definitely a lot of challenges but we’re monitoring the the border situation and it sounds like the the June 21st border closure is kind of our our d-day, if you will, as a go or no-go point.”
With Canada currently imposing a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival and the CDC recommending the same for entry into the U.S., Bortolotti indicated the current measures would make it impossible for his team to contest the remainder of the season.
“I think just for the health and safety of our crew and our people that are traveling abroad, exemptions aside, we’ve really got to follow what’s recommended and do what’s right for for the greater good,” he said. “I think that’s what’s important right now.
“The way it’s positioned within IMSA and the way it’s worded, it’s still recommended and proper that you quarantine on the way into the U.S. and it’s mandatory on the way home.
“So 28 days of quarantine with nine events left, the math just doesn’t work. We need to the border to be open.
“Us just staying abroad… unless IMSA has a bulk discount on divorce lawyers, I don’t think any of us are going to do it!
“It’s tough, our sponsor Motul and all of our partners have been in constant communication, as well as Porsche Motorsport North America, and we’re just in that wait-and-see point right now.”
Bortolotti said the team has plans to contest the Canadian Touring Car Championship with up to two Audi RS 3 LMS TCR cars this year, which could keep them active if a return to the WeatherTech Championship is not possible in the short-term.
“The company has done an amazing job in keeping people busy and doing productive stuff,” he said.
“If Daytona has to go on without us, maybe it just becomes an Endurance Cup this year, and that’s OK. Motul is involved in our Canadian Touring Car program and we want to do everything we can do keep them happy.
“If we take a step back and look to 2021 and beyond, I foresee many challenges for the industry but hopefully we can set ourselves up with our partners to be OK and weather the storm.”