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GT World Challenge Europe

Monza Season-Opener Canceled; Imola Added to Schedule

GT World Challenge Europe opener canceled due to coronavirus, schedule reshuffled…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Next month’s GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS opener at Monza has been canceled amid the growing Covid-19 outbreak in northern Italy, putting into action SRO Motorsports Group’s previously announced contingency plan.

The season will now get underway at Brands Hatch on May 2-3, with the Endurance Cup opener taking place at Silverstone one week later. 

To make up for the lost Endurance Cup round, the event at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Oct. 9-11 has been switched from Sprint to Endurance format.

The fifth and final Sprint Cup weekend will now take place at Imola on Oct. 30 – Nov. 1.

SRO announced this contingency plan in February when Covid-19 began to spread in Italy. The country is the worst affected in Europe, and now has the highest number of cases of any country outside China.

The region of Lombardy, which includes Monza and nearby Milan, was put into lockdown on Saturday in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. 

This is expected to last until April 3, but could be extended further. Monza was set to host GTWC Europe on April 17-19.

DTM and Creventic both previously canceled their scheduled March events at Monza, with the German series moving its test to Hockenheim and Creventic replacing its Hankook 12 Hours of Monza with a race at Estoril.

The new Imola event will also host the GT4 European Finals, a non-championship contest featuring a pair of qualifying races and a main race, and the final round of the GT Sports Club.

An additional Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe round to replace Monza will be confirmed in due course, but will not take place during the Imola event.

This is because it falls on the same weekend as Lamborghini’s already scheduled World Final at nearby Misano, where all of the manufacturer’s Super Trofeo teams from around the world will end their season.

The two tracks are only around 60 miles from each other. 

2020 GTWC Europe Schedule (Updated)

Mar. 12-13 – Paul Ricard test days
May 2-3 – Brands Hatch (Sprint)
May 9-10 – Silverstone (Endurance)
May 29-30 – Paul Ricard (Endurance)
June 16-17 – Spa test days
June 26-28 – Zandvoort (Sprint)
July 3-5 – Misano (Sprint)
July 23-26 – 24H Spa (Endurance)
Sept. 4-6 – Nürburgring (Endurance)
Sept. 25-27 – Budapest (Sprint)
Oct. 9-11 – Barcelona (Endurance)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 – Imola (Sprint)

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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