This weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has been called off, with IndyCar confirming all of its races through April are now canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially set to go ahead this weekend without spectators in a tightened schedule, IndyCar released a statement Friday afternoon confirming the immediate cancelation of its season-opener, which also sees Pirelli GT4 America Sprint, TC America and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama withdraw from the event.
The announcement came moments after the opening GT4 Sprint session had ended. The session was paced by the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 of Michael Cooper, with only 13 of the 17 entered cars turning laps.
GT3 Cup Challenge cars had also taken to the track earlier this morning for its first session.
Additional IndyCar events scheduled for Barber Motorsports Park and Circuit of The Americas have also been canceled, in addition to Thursday’s postponement of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
“After careful consideration, including regular communication with our event promoters, health officials, and the city administrations in our respective race markets regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all NTT IndyCar Series events through April,” a statement from IndyCar read.
“This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was to begin today and run through Sunday, March 15 and continues through the AutoNation IndyCar Challenge at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas which was to take place April 24-26.
“Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this IndyCar season and will miss our incredible fans who support us each year in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Long Beach, and Austin, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority.
“We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule.”
The news came as NASCAR postponed this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and next weekend’s event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, both of which, like St. Pete, were due to be run behind closed doors.
The additional canceled events by IndyCar will also impact the IMSA-sanctioned Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, which was due to kick off its 2020 season at Barber alongside the second round of GT3 Cup Challenge.
Further details on replacement rounds for both are expected to be forthcoming by IMSA in the coming days.