Mid-June is right here, however for the primary time in 52 years, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will not be. The world’s most prestigious endurance sports activities automobile race has been postponed to a brand new date as a result of coronavirus pandemic that halted stay sports activities globally a couple of months in the past.
The delay of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020, now scheduled to start Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m. ET and finish at 8:30 a.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 20 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, meant the FIA World Endurance Championship needed to revise its Season Eight schedule. The normal prelude to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, stays on the schedule, however Le mans is now not the season finale. WEC Season 9, which might have began in early September, is not going to begin earlier than 2021.
MORE: All about the 24 Hours of … lemons?
This isn’t the primary time the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been postponed from its conventional dates in June, because the race was pushed again to September in 1968 attributable to civil battle in France.
The entry checklist for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020 was launched in February. It included a document low of six LMP1 automobiles, and with Ford and BMW dropping out of WEC racing, the GTE Professional class is down to simply 11 automobiles. The No. Eight Toyota TS050 Hybrid group, final 12 months’s Le Mans winner, is again in 2020 to defend its title.
Beneath is all that you must know in regards to the rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020.
When is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020?
- Date: Sept. 19-20
- Begin time: 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 19
The brand new date for this 12 months’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was introduced again in March because the influence of COVID-19 hit the sports activities and leisure industries. Race organizer Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest introduced the 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially scheduled for June 13-14, would as an alternative run Sept. 19-20.
A pair weeks later, the WEC introduced a brand new begin time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its new date. Quite than its conventional begin time of 9 a.m. ET (Three p.m. native time in France), the race will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET. The change was made in live performance with the Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest’s TV companions.
As a result of postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s now not the WEC’s season finale. That is now the Eight Hours of Bahrain, scheduled for Nov. 21.
“Within the context of what we’re all going by means of now, the reprogramming of the WEC’s Season Eight calendar required sure changes in live performance with our totally different companions, opponents and host circuits, mentioned ACO president Pierre Fillon. “Nevertheless, to make sure the standard and equity of this championship, this 12 months it’s essential to depart from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scheduled for 19/20th September, being the Tremendous Finale of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship. This modification to the present FIA WEC has been established with full transparency and with the understanding of all involved.”
Beneath is the brand new schedule for all 24 Hours of Le Mans periods, together with the race itself on Sept. 19-20.
(Native France instances)
|Wednesday, Sept. 16||1-6 p.m.||Apply 1|
|Wednesday, Sept. 16||8-11 p.m.||Apply 2|
|Wednesday, Sept. 16||11:15 p.m.-midnight||Qualifying|
|Thursday, Sept. 17||5-6 p.m.||Apply 3|
|Thursday, Sept. 17||8-8:30 p.m.||Hyperpole qualifying|
|Thursday, Sept. 17||9 p.m.-midnight||Apply 4|
|Saturday, Sept. 19||8:15-8:30 a.m.||Heat-up|
|Saturday, Sept. 19||2:30 p.m.||Race|
Why was the 24 Hours of Le Mans postponed?
Amid the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, and given the coronavirus-related restrictions in France and different nations around the globe, the Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest and the FIA WEC had little alternative however to postpone its most prestigious race. Not less than the 24 Hours of Le Mans was not canceled like so many different sporting occasions in 2020.
“Suspending the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the unique dates in June is now probably the most acceptable means ahead within the present distinctive circumstances,” Fillon mentioned when the announcement was made.
Added Gérard Neveu, the CEO of FIA WEC: “It’s the proper resolution to delay in mild of the present state of affairs.”
When its new 2020 schedule was launched in early April, the WEC famous that its calendar is “topic to additional change in line with the evolution of the present well being disaster.”
Easy methods to watch digital 24 Hours of Le Mans
Technically there can be a 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020 in the course of the conventional mid-June slot — the primary ever digital 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Sure, a 50-car subject will race on-line for 24 hours beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 13 as a substitute for what would have been the precise race. It isn’t in contrast to the iRacing sequence NASCAR applied throughout its coronavirus-prompted hiatus in April.
The race will function driver adjustments, transitions from day to nighttime to day, multi-class racing and every part else that makes the precise 24 Hours of Le Mans so particular. The occasion on the digital Circuit de la Sarthe will run on the rFactor 2 platform.
A complete explainer on the digital 24 Hours of Le Mans, courtesy of the particular race’s web site, might be discovered right here.