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Dakar 2017: Stage six cancelled due to poor weather

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After Friday’s fifth stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally was shortened due to poor weather, Saturday’s sixth from Oruro to La Paz has been cancelled outright due to worsening conditions, making it unsafe for all competitors.

This means this year’s Dakar will have a quick two-day break before the rally resumes on Monday, as Sunday was a scheduled rest day in La Paz.

The official release from Dakar organizers explains today’s decision:

“Considering the extreme climatic conditions and that some others are still on the stage course. Considering that it is impossible to bring the vehicles of all participants back to the bivouac and prepare the next stage in the best conditions. Considering that people of the organization in charge of the reco of tomorrow’s stage course informed that the road is unpracticable. The 6e stage of Oruro-La Paz has been cancelled.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the NΓΌrburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche MotorsportΒ announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.