Wright Motorsports is among several IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams that are set to miss this weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Confirmed on Monday, the Ohio-based squad has elected to forgo its GTD class Porsche 911 GT3 R entry due to the current Canadian vaccine policies.
Driver Ryan Hardwick and other key members of the team are unvaccinated, and therefore unable to cross the border.
Per Canada’s current rules, all persons entering the country are required to show proof of having at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by the government, a mix of two accepted vaccines or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CTMP event will mark IMSA’s first trip outside the U.S. since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Several of our team members, including myself, are unvaccinated, which means we are unable to travel to Canada due to their current Covid vaccine policies,” said Hardwick.
“At the beginning of the season, I was hopeful that Canada would drop their vaccine requirements prior to our race there, but unfortunately that has not happened.
“While I am disappointed that we won’t be competing at this event, I stand by my own personal health decisions, and those of my teammates.”
The July 1-3 round, which features DPi, LMP3, GTD Pro and GTD, only counts towards WeatherTech Sprint Cup points for the Pro-Am-enforced production-based class.
Hardwick and Heylen currently sit fourth in the Sprint Cup standings following the latest round at Detroit.
A total of 27 cars are on the provisional entry list for CTMP, including Wright, meaning there will be 26 entries at the maximum should no further withdrawals occur.
Among the other absences include the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3.
Inception team manager Bas Leinders told Sportscar365 that its teams’ absence is not COVID-19-related as its entire UK-based crew are vaccinated per the U.S. entry requirements for foreigners.
All six DPi and GTD Pro teams are listed on the CTMP entry and expected to be present, while the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 Nissan will see Scott Andrews sub for Felipe Fraga, who is on DTM duty at the Norisring.
It’s understood that LMP3 squad CORE autosport had initially considered skipping the event due to several members of its team not being vaccinated, but has instead elected to go with substitute crew.
Colin Braun and Jon Bennett will be at the wheel of the team’s Ligier.
Entry lists have also been released for Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge, with multiple teams from both series also expected to skip the event.
The Wright-operated VOLT Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4, meanwhile, is entered for the Pilot Challenge race.