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Spa-Francorchamps Closed Until April

Country-wide restrictions force closure of legendary Belgian circuit until April 3…

Photo: Porsche

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has been closed until April 3 at the earliest, following drastic measures taken by the Belgian government to help contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Security Council announced Thursday evening the ban of all sporting or cultural activities, whether public or private, regardless of their size.

It will also result in the closure of schools, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and cinemas until April 3. 

The world-renowned Belgian circuit communicated the news on Friday, which so far will not impact any scheduled races.

The FIA World Endurance Championship’s penultimate round of the 2019-20 season is planned for April 23-25, with other major events in May.

“So far we have been in the ‘winter’ period, so that is to say that the track activities should not have resumed at a daily rate until March 16,” a circuit statement read.

“Participating in containing the spread of Covid-19 has been a priority for us for several weeks and the circuit has followed and implemented, day by day, the recommendations made by the authorities.

“We have also followed with attention the various decisions taken by the organizers of the various championships present at the circuit, the teams and other countries in which motor sport events take place.

“The whole world is facing an unprecedented situation and the circuit is continuing its situation assessment meetings and will organize the rest of its season according to the evolution of the situation.”

Belgium has reached more than 550 cases of the COVID-19 virus as of Friday, with at least three deaths, although virologist Marc Van Ranst told VRT Nieuws that the “worst is yet to come” over the next four-to-six weeks.

In a Q&A issued on Thursday, WEC CEO Gerard Neveu sad it’s hard to predict the possibility of canceled races in the “rapidly changing” situation.

It comes after the WEC was forced to cancel its 1000 Miles of Sebring on Thursday due to U.S.-imposed travel restrictions from Europe.

“We are very, very aware that this is a rapidly changing situation, and one that none of us have faced before,” Neveu said.

“Honestly, right now, we can’t answer that question [of future called-off races] because it’s not just our decision to take.

“We will keep you all informed as soon as possible. Of course, we will maintain our existing Covid-19 monitoring group and will continue to keep our paddock informed of any developments.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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