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WEC cancels Sebring race because of COVID-19 travel ban from Europe

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The World Endurance Championship has canceled its March 20 race because of the COVID-19 travel ban on visitors from 26 European countries over the next 30 days.

In a release early Thursday morning, WEC officials said they carefully reviewed the viability of staging the race, which made its debut last season.

“Given the large number of drivers, team staff and officials who are still in Europe and who were scheduled to travel to the USA in the coming days, it would not be possible or appropriate to stage the race in their absence,” the release stated. “The decision to cancel was communicated and accepted by John Doonan, President of IMSA late in the evening of 11th March.”

Race cars and equipment for the race already had arrived at the Sebring International Raceway paddock. The WEC said it would focus on “an orderly return to Europe.”

IMSA released a statement late Wednesday afternoon that it had no schedule changes planned for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which will take place March 21.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.