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Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge

St. Petersburg Event to Run Behind Closed Doors

GT4 America and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge will race despite coronavirus disruption…

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

This weekend’s Pirelli GT4 America and IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races at St. Petersburg will be held behind closed doors, as confirmed by the event’s organizers.

A statement from Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg promoter Green Savoree Racing confirmed that the NTT IndyCar Series season-opener and associated support races will go ahead but without trackside spectator access.

GT4 America’s single-driver Sprint championship and the one-make GT3 Cup Challenge are both on the bill with two races planned for each series.

SRO America’s TCR and TCA touring car categories are also scheduled to compete on a mixed grid.

While fans won’t be permitted through the gate, the event is set to be televised and streamed as normal.

Green Savoree confirmed that the event will take place over three days, although some timetable adjustments are likely because of a new “condensed schedule” 

Its statement read: “IndyCar and Green Savoree Racing Promotions, in conjunction with the city of St. Petersburg, announced Thursday that all activities surrounding Sunday’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be closed to spectators and limited to essential personnel only.

“This protocol is being put in place to protect the health and welfare of the fans, drivers, teams, workers and officials, as we mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“The race weekend will operate from Friday through Sunday, with IndyCar on-track sessions limited to Saturday and Sunday.

“The activities also include Road To Indy, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, and SRO Motorsports Group America on a condensed schedule.

“A press release with full details, including a revised schedule, will be issued with additional details later today.”

Other nearby events in March have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Next weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring has been postponed until November, while the Atlanta and Homestead-Miami NASCAR Cup races will be held behind closed doors.

The COVID-19 virus has been recorded in almost 125,000 cases globally and has resulted in the cancelation and postponement of events around the world.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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