National series, such as the Italian GT Championship, British GT Championship and others, could restart prior to the resumption of continental and international sports car racing competitions, according to a prediction from Lamborghini Squadra Corse boss Giorgio Sanna.
Sanna, who heads up the Italian manufacturer’s global motorsports activities, believes that country-specific travel restrictions could dictate which championships will be able to go back racing, potentially in a quicker timeframe than others.
While nearly all countries continue to enforce so-called ‘shelter-in-place’ mandates, it’s believed such measures could slowly be lifted on a nation-by-nation basis depending if the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been largely contained.
Italy, which has been the epicenter of Europe for the coronavirus pandemic, saw its lowest number of recorded deaths since March 19 on Sunday, with the number of patients in intensive care decreasing for the ninth consecutive day.
While the country’s lockdown has been extended until at least May 3, Italy, along with government officials in Germany have begun looking at ways to relax some restrictions.
Whether that could lead to the resumption of racing, potentially without spectators at first, remains unclear, although Lamborghini’s Sanna has stressed the importance of taking a cautious approach to the health crisis.
Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese remains largely closed, other than the emergency production of surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields for a nearby hospital.
“We are closely monitoring the situation across the country,” Sanna told Endurance-Info.
“We all have to face COVID-19. It is imperative to respect the rules dictated by the Italian government.
“We have to stay confident. It is fundamental.”
The theory of national championships getting underway sooner has been echoed by statements from other governments, including Australia, which has indicated that it may keep its borders closed through the rest of this year.
Such measures in Europe would complicate series such as GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, or even ADAC GT Masters, which has three rounds outside of Germany on its revised calendar, from operating as planned.
The situation would also complicate drivers and teams coming from other countries to race.
“I think that the recovery will be done step by step, firstly, the national competitions,” Sanna said.
“We will then see according to the decisions of the different countries.
“People need to be able to travel safely. Nothing will be easy this year with a [European] season that could start at Spa.
“The priority remains the health of people, but we must also have a thought for those who work in the world of motorsport.
“Behind the teams are families. It represents a lot of people.”
Sanna: LMDh the “Best” Platform for Challenging Economic Times
While still non-committal to the platform, Sanna believes the ACO and IMSA’s LMDh formula could be best-positioned for the challenging economic times that will likely call for budget cuts across all areas of motorsports.
“We always look at what is happening, but the current period calls for caution,” he said. “The priority of the manufacturers will be different. What impact will the crisis have?
“Our priority is to resume the activity and find solutions to compensate for the losses.
“IMSA and ACO are doing a good job and I remain convinced that the LMDh is the best platform to start a new era, especially with what is happening now.
“Keeping the operating cost as low as possible is essential and I think the LMDh tends towards that.”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report