Sat, 30 May 2020

Indy 500 moved to August due to coronavirus

27 Mar 2020, 04:12 GMT+10

The 104th Indianapolis 500 was moved from 24 May to 23 August on Thursday by IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will mark the first time the US oval classic on the famed 4km oval will be staged outside of May in more than a century of races, with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud looking to defend his title.

Organizers also moved the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis, which had been scheduled for 9 May on the road course at the Speedway, to 4 July - the American Independence Day holiday - as part of a revamped IndyCar season schedule.

"The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500," series and speedway owner Roger Penske said.

"However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.

"I'm confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world's greatest race."

The Indy 500 will begin with practice sessions 12-14 August and qualifying on 15-16 August with a final practice session on 21 August.

"This August, we'll also have a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19," Penske Entertainment president Mark Miles said.

"We're grateful for the patience of our fans as we've navigated this situation."

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