The 24 Hours of Le Mans moved from June to September for COVID-19

FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Image
0 Comments

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the rescheduling of one the biggest races in the world.

The 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been postponed from June 13-14 to Sept. 19-20.

Race organizers said they decided to move the sports car endurance classic because of “restrictions in force in France and other countries around the world to curb the spread of coronavirus.”

A NEW FORD V. FERRARI ERA?

The 24 Hours of Le Mans has attracted some of IMSA’s best teams in the past. There was talk of rekindling the era celebrated in the movie “Ford vs. Ferrari” by a January announcement in Daytona Beach, Florida, that Le Mans should become more of a crossover event in the future.

The Sept. 19-20 weekend currently is scheduled to be a busy one for racing. NASCAR planned to conclude the first round of its playoffs Sept. 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway while IndyCar expected to conclude its season Sept. 20 at Laguna Seca Raceway.

As of now, NASCAR and IndyCar are hoping to resume their seasons in May.

Here’s the release about the 2020 postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the race’s website:

In view of the changing health situation related to the coronavirus and the latest Government guidelines, the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially scheduled for 13-14 June, has been postponed until 19-20 September 2020.

Restrictions are currently in force in France and other countries around the world to curb the spread of coronavirus. Consequently, race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has decided, in conjunction with the Féderation Internationale Automobile (FIA) and the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), to postpone the 24 Hours of Le Mans originally set for 13-14 June 2020.

The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will affect the FIA WEC calendars; the revised dates will be communicated shortly. The European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ligier European Series Calendars will also be updated. All this information will be released in due course as will the exact schedule for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest takes this opportunity to express its support and recognition of the hard work accomplished by healthcare workers during these trying times.

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Postponing the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the original dates in June is now the most appropriate way forward in the current exceptional circumstances.

“First and foremost, I urge everyone to avoid putting themselves, their loved ones and others at risk. The most important thing today is to curtail the spread of this virus. Our thoughts go out to medical staff working relentlessly for the sake of us all.

“The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans means making changes to the WEC and ELMS calendars and we shall announce the new dates shortly. The safety and quality of our events will not be compromised.

“Competitors, sponsors, fans, media, medical services and organisers – it is time to pull together, more than ever before”

Gérard Neveu, CEO of FIA WEC and ELMS: “It is the right decision to delay in light of the current situation.  We are now working on revising our WEC and ELMS calendars for the remainder of this season, and for the WEC’s Season 9 which was due to start in September 2020.  We will come back to you in the coming days with more news for both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.”

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

0 Comments

For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.