The 2021 Suzuka 10 Hours has been canceled, prompting the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli to introduce a replacement round in the Gulf region.
Race organizer Mobilityland Corporation and the IGTC announced on Wednesday that ongoing travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fed a decision to cancel the 10-hour race, which was planned for Aug. 20-22.
The Suzuka 10 Hours was also called off last year due to COVID-19 measures.
The Japanese Grand Prix venue had been due to host round two of this year’s IGTC season, which is set to start at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in late July.
Its cancelation has prompted the IGTC to source an undisclosed venue in the Gulf region for a replacement round. The global GT3 series has never raced in the Gulf before, while the move will ensure that the series remains in Asia for its intercontinental aspect.
A date for the new event has yet to be determined.
The Indianapolis 8 Hour is due to take place in October while the Kyalami 9 Hour is scheduled for early December.
“It is with sadness and disappointment that I confirm the Suzuka 10 Hours will not take place this year,” said SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.
“The race is a true highlight of the international endurance calendar and one we look forward to returning to in 2022.
“But out of this disappointment also comes an opportunity, and there are several in the Middle East that we are currently considering.
“I am really looking forward to seeing Intercontinental GT Challenge racing in a new region later this year.”
The Suzuka 10 Hours cancelation avoids a scheduling clash between the IGTC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was recently postponed to the original Suzuka date.
Mobilityland also announced on Wednesday that the annual Suzuka 8 Hours motorbike race has been postponed from July to November in the hope that Japanese travel restrictions will be eased by then.