The Nürburgring 24 is set to run behind closed doors in what has been a “difficult but necessary” decision according to race organizers.
Originally scheduled for May, the German endurance classic has been postponed to Sept. 24-27 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with government officials placing restrictions on public gatherings.
In June, Germany extended its ban on large events until the end of October that has included the cancelation of Oktoberfest.
Special efforts from the ADAC and Nürburgring circuit, including the rollout of a socially-distanced pit lane, have helped keep the race on the calendar, despite the restriction of no spectators this year.
“Of course we are all happy among the organizers that we can run the race this year at all,” said race director Walter Hornung. “A lot of coordination work had to be done.
“Unfortunately, we have to do without our loyal fans this year.
“We will especially miss them because more than at any other motorsport event, the spectators at the 24-hour race are part of the experience.
“In the past few years, you have traditionally created a unique festival atmosphere around the Nordschleife.”
The event typically draws upwards of 200,000 fans.
A fund has been established by the event’s partners, including manufacturers and sponsors, to help absorb the financial loss.
“The 24-hour race will involve a great deal of financial effort for us,” said organization manager Mirco Hansen.
“The partners who participate in this fund make an enormously important contribution to compensate for this in parts and thus also to ensure the existence of the race. We are very grateful to our partners for this.”
Fans that have already purchased tickets for this year’s race will be able to use them in 2021 or receive a refund or exchange.
The race is set to occur one week after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will have restricted spectator access grouped into “fan villages”.