Cetilar Racing has pulled out of next week’s 1000 Miles of Sebring amid the increasing coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The Italian LMP2 team, run by AF Corse, confirmed to Sportscar365 on Wednesday that it will not take part in the sixth round of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
It marks the first withdrawal from the ‘Super Sebring’ event directly related to the Covid-19 virus.
The Dallara P217 Gibson has been driven this season by the all-Italian lineup of Andrea Belicchi, Giorgio Sernagiotto and team principal Roberto Lacorte, who has vowed to donate all costs related to the Sebring trip to the intensive care units of multiple Italian hospitals that are coping with the epidemic.
Lacorte is the vice president and CEO of Pharmanutra SpA, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of nutraceutical supplements and medical devices.
As of Wednesday, Italy has 10,149 reported cases of Covid-19, including 631 deaths.
The Italian government on Monday announced increased controlling measures that has effectually put the country into a lockdown, although business and emergency travel is still permitted under certain circumstances.
Ferrari has vowed to be present at next week’s WEC race, according to a spokesperson from the Italian manufacturer, despite increasing questions whether its U.S.-bound crew will be allowed to work in the country.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Monday a new mandatory 14-day self-quarantine measure for any person arriving from Italy or other Level 3 countries.
WEC Provides Update on Sebring Status
Championship boss Gerard Neveu provided an update to competitors on Tuesday, stating that there are no changes announced to the Super Sebring event.
In a bulletin issued to teams, Neveu stated that there are no restrictions currently placed on the organization of public events in Florida or access to the U.S. unless persons have visited China in the last month.
The bulletin stated that other sporting events are going ahead as scheduled in Florida at the moment.
The WEC’s next coronavirus monitoring group session will be held on Friday, with a further update to be released then.
WEC teams are due to arrive at Sebring tomorrow in advance of this weekend’s two-day test at the airfield circuit, with support crew from tire manufacturers and some championship staff already on-site.