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Start of Super GT Season Delayed due to Virus Precautions

Okayama 300km to be rescheduled as a precaution against COVID-19 pandemic…

Photo: Super GT

The Super GT season-opener at Okayama has become the latest sports car racing event to be postponed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Series organizer GTA and the Okayama circuit announced on Wednesday that the 300km race originally scheduled for April 12 will be called off to a later date.

The decision came shortly after Super GT held its pre-season test behind closed doors at the track last weekend.

It has yet to be decided when the two-day event will be rescheduled for, while information for those who have bought tickets will be posted on the venue’s website.

Prior to its postponement, the Okayama race was the next major sports car event on the calendar set to run unaffected by the global virus outbreak.

Now, the soonest sports car event currently planned is the third round of the Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS) on April 18.

A joint statement from GTA and the Okayama circuit read:

“In light of the Japanese government’s basic countermeasures regarding the spread of the new coronavirus, as well as the recent developments of the pandemic, this decision has been made with the intent of helping to prevent further spread of the virus and out of concern for the health and safety of the spectators coming to the event and the race competitors and related officials and personnel.”

Super GT has also announced that its official test at Fuji on March 28-29 will be held behind closed doors.

The next round on the 2020 calendar is the 500km race at Fuji on May 3-4, which is currently slated to go ahead as planned.

According to the latest World Health Organization data, Japan has confirmed 829 cases of the COVID-19 strain while 28 nationals have died from the virus.

The country has implemented its own measures to control the spread, including enhanced border checks on foreign visitors and encouraging citizens to avoid social grouping.

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

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