IMSA Roval Road Atlanta
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IMSA will move races to Road Atlanta, Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval

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IMSA modified its 2020 schedule Saturday, announcing new race dates at Road Atlanta and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

The six-hour WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race Sept. 6 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will replace the previously scheduled event at Watkins Glen International. A four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be held at the track Sept. 5.

The Roval will play host to the GTLM and GTD classes Oct. 9-10 (with practice Friday and a 100-minute race Saturday) ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series racing in the Bank of America Roval 400 on Oct. 11.

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The GTLM and GTD classes had been scheduled to race Sept. 12 at Lime Rock Park. Both Connecticut and New York have quarantine restrictions because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that would have made the races at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock logistically impossible for IMSA and its teams.

In a statement, Watkins Glen said its IMSA races being moved were “a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the state of New York.”

The Roval will mark the first time IMSA and NASCAR have shared a track on a race weekend in six years.

“When Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith first envisioned the Roval, part of that vision included bringing new series to the track in addition to our classic NASCAR Cup Series events,” Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Greg Walter said in a release. “We look forward to working in partnership with IMSA to provide a unique perspective to race fans and a one-of-a-kind challenge to the drivers who will be tasked with tackling this technically innovative course.”

Here’s the release from IMSA:

IMSA today announced realignment to upcoming dates on its 2020 schedule, which includes shifting of the Labor Day Weekend six-hour race from Watkins Glen International to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and the GT-only event from Lime Rock Park to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will host the six-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Sunday, Sept. 6, with three other IMSA-sanctioned series that all were previously scheduled to compete at Watkins Glen also moving to Michelin Raceway that weekend. A four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, with doubleheader races for both the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races also planned for the weekend.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will host the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in a 100-minute race as part of the NASCAR event weekend, Oct. 9-10, at the facility. This event will replace the Lime Rock Park race previously scheduled for Sept. 11-12.

Michelin Pilot Challenge, which also was scheduled to race at Lime Rock Park, instead will have a doubleheader of two-hour races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the weekend of Sept. 25-27. The GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will have three events per weekend at Mid-Ohio and the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 14-17.

IMSA continues to monitor state and local COVID-19 guidelines which may make additional schedule revisions appropriate in the coming weeks. Current Provisional IMSA schedules follow below.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.