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Nürburgring Endurance

NLS Set to Cancel First Two Rounds Due to Virus Measures

First two NLS (formerly VLN) rounds set to be canceled due to state virus measures…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

The first two rounds of the Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS) are set to be canceled in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Sportscar365 has learned.

Measures to restrict public gatherings announced by the administration for the federal state that contains the Nürburgring are likely to prevent the ADAC Westfalenfahrt and DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen from taking place.

The state of Rhineland-Palatinate has prohibited events of more than 75 people from Mar. 16 until Easter as part of its efforts to control the spread of the virus.

This would impact round one on Mar. 21 and round two on Apr. 4, although subsequent races are not currently set to be affected by the ruling.

The ban on events is projected to end shortly before round three on Apr. 18, while the qualifying race for the Nürburgring 24 is scheduled for the final weekend in April.

Currently, the German government is recommending the public to avoid events of more than 1,000 people, although some states like Rhineland-Palatinate have adopted their own banning measures.

According to the latest World Health Organization data, Germany has recorded 3,062 cases of the virus across all states, while six related deaths have been confirmed.

A handful of high-profile GT3 teams had already withdrawn from the opening round in response to the pandemic.

KCMG confirmed on Friday that it had withdrawn its two cars from both the test and the ADAC Westfalenfahrt four-hour race “on safety grounds”.

Team principal Paul Ip said: “After careful monitoring of the situation in the last 48 hours it was decided the health and safety of all drivers and team members was of the highest priority, in particular with the unpredictable developments of coronavirus across Europe and the rest of the world.

“Regretfully that left no choice but to postpone our participation in NLS until the situation becomes clearer.

“When it comes to the safety of our drivers and team members KCMG will take no chances. We look forward to resuming racing activities as soon as possible.”

Fellow Porsche squad Falken Motorsports also confirmed that it would withdraw from all events “in the coming weeks” as a precaution.

Other teams are present and running at today’s test, including defending Nürburgring 24 winner Phoenix Racing and Ferrari GT3 outfit Racing One.

Manthey Racing, which operates a single ‘Grello’ Porsche, announced on Friday that it would be withdrawing from all pre-season running.

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

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