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

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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.”

Scott Dixon fastest on the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice

Indy 500 practice Dixon
James Black/IndyCar
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Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.

The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.

THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis

COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days

The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.

Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).

Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.

Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.

The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.

HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBCDetails for the Aug. 23 race

DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULEClick here for all on-track activity in August at Indy