The second edition of the FIA Motorsport Games has been postponed by another year to October 2022 amid ongoing travel challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Event organizers the FIA and SRO Motorsports Group announced on Friday that the Olympic-style, multi-discipline event will not take place on its proposed Oct. 29-31 date, which was set up after an initial postponement from the original October 2020 date.
It will instead be held on Oct. 29-30 next year as a two-day festival, retaining Marseille as the host city and Circuit Paul Ricard as the central competition venue.
A statement from the FIA and SRO said that the postponement “takes into consideration the presence of strict international travel restrictions” that would reduce participant numbers and consequently “diminish the universal spirit” of the event.
The FIA Motorsport Games brings together national teams formed by ASNs (National Sporting Authorities).
A total of 49 countries, including the likes of Japan, Brazil, France, Kuwait, Australia and Russia – which topped the medal table, were represented at the 2019 edition which featured six disciplines: GTs, Formula 4, karting slalom, drifting, touring cars and esports.
The postponed Marseille Games are due to expand to 18 events including an LMP3 endurance race and a GT competition for professional drivers, building on the Pro-Am format used for the GT Cup at Rome.
The FIA Motorsport Games traces its roots back to the FIA GT Nations Cup that was held at Bahrain International Circuit in 2018.
“This postponement is an unavoidable decision considering the travel difficulties the world is still going through,” said FIA President Jean Todt.
“The FIA Motorsport Games is an exceptional opportunity for the entire motorsport family to come together, unite and share the passion we all have for the sport, and we are already looking forward to seeing the ASNs and the teams in 2022.”
SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel told Sportscar365 at Paul Ricard in May that the FIA Motorsport Games is the “single hardest” motor racing event to organize during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s understood that travel restrictions meant the event was shaping up to consist mainly of European entries, with multiple vehicles representing a single country in certain events to ensure full grids.
The FIA and SRO have proposed staging a digital-only competition on the original 2021 date, details of which are yet to be announced.
“The opportunity to gather competitors from across the globe is a vital component of the FIA Motorsports Games,” Ratel said following the postponement decision.
“As this will not be possible in 2021, I believe that it is the correct decision to reschedule for next year.
“While disappointing, the decision demonstrates our commitment to staging a truly global event that does justice to the FIA Motorsports Games philosophy.
“We will continue working towards the second edition and look forward to sharing more news regarding a digital project for 2021.”
Japan won the GT gold medal in 2019 with Ukyo Sasahara and Hiroshi Hamaguchi driving an FFF-prepared Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, while Poland and Australia took silver and bronze.