Coronavirus forces Le Mans 24 Hours behind closed doors

File picture of Argentine’s Jose Maria Lopez in his Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 No. 7 fighting for the lead with his teammate Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima in his Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 No. 8 during the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race June 15, 2019. — AFP pic
File picture of Argentine’s Jose Maria Lopez in his Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 No. 7 fighting for the lead with his teammate Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima in his Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 No. 8 during the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race June 15, 2019. — AFP pic

PARIS, Aug 10 — This year’s postponed Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race will be run without spectators in September due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its organisers said today.

The French race, usually held in June at the Sarthe circuit and now in its 88th edition, was attended by 250,000 people in 2019, with a large number coming from Britain.

Toyota are defending champions.

“Sadly, the world’s greatest endurance race will be run this year with no spectators trackside,” Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), said in a statement.

“Given the constraints involved in organising a festival-scale event over several days in the current situation, we have opted with the local government authorities to hold the race behind closed doors.

“We know that our fans will be as disappointed as we are by this decision but, with public health in the balance, it really wasn’t a difficult call to make.” — Reuters

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