Next weekend’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour has been postponed due to travel restrictions to South Africa amid the detection of a new COVID-19 variant originating in the country.
SRO Motorsports Group released a statement on Friday saying that it is working with the local promoter to “evaluate travel solutions and reschedule the event.”
A new date for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season finale, originally scheduled for Dec. 2-4, is set to be announced on Monday.
South African authorities and other countries in the region identified a new coronavirus variant with mutations on Thursday, prompting the UK, France, Italy and other countries to restrict air travel to the region.
The UK has banned flights to South Africa as of Friday, with other governments expected to follow suit.
“The detection of coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 in southern Africa, announced on November 25, and the resulting travel restrictions already imposed by several countries will prevent most international teams and championship staff from flying to South Africa,” said the SRO statement.
“The local promoter and SRO Motorsports Group – who are jointly responsible for staging the race – are already working with local authorities to evaluate travel solutions and reschedule the event.
“A new date for the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour to be held at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit will be confirmed and announced on Monday.
“The safety of all participants and staff will take utmost priority in any decision to reschedule this season’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour.”