File picture: Thibault Camus / AP Photo.
File picture: Thibault Camus / AP Photo.

Le Mans is going ahead, albeit on a tighter schedule

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

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Paris - The rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans in September will be condensed into a four-day timetable incorporating free practice, qualifying, warm-up and the race, organisers announced on Thursday.

In the past, practice and qualifying has started on the Wednesday before the race but the 2020 race has been postponed from June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This year’s extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary programme," said the Automobile Club de l'Ouest in a statement.

"Well aware of the financial impact of the current situation on racing teams, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest was keen to ensure that their resources are not tied up over too long a period."

The 62 cars will take to the Sarthe circuit in northwestern France on Thursday, Sept 17, for practice and first qualifying with more practice and a 24-car 'Hyperpole' shoot-out on Friday before the Sept 19-20 race.

Organisers, who have not ruled out having to run the race behind closed doors, said they will give details about spectator access on June 30.

The race, now in its 88th edition, was attended by 250 000 people in June 2019 with a large number coming from Britain. 

On Sunday Rebellion Williams Esports won the first virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was the day the real race was scheduled to finish, before it was postponed.


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