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.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.