DTM cancels pre-season test due to coronavirus
The pre-season DTM test that was scheduled to take place next week at Hockenheim has been called off amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Championship organiser ITR had already opted to move the four-day test, due to take place on March 16-19, from its original location of Monza to Hockenheim amid the worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. It later confirmed it would be closed to spectators.
However, with the virus continuing to sweep across Europe, the decision has been made to cancel the test altogether with the support of the series’ two manufacturers, Audi and BMW.
Germany is now the third-worst hit country on the continent behind Italy and Spain, having reported more than 3,600 COVID-19 cases.
“The health and safety of all people involved is our highest priority,” said ITR managing director Marcel Mohaupt. “The general situation around the coronavirus, in conjunction with the directives made by German government authorities, and consideration for those involved, means we have taken the decision to cancel this test.
“Naturally, we’re disappointed that the DTM – along with many other sports – is having to take such measures, but obviously these are for the greater good.
“With regard to the start of the 2020 season, we are engaged in a close dialogue with our partners, manufacturers and local race organisers.”
The 2020 DTM season is currently scheduled to get underway on April 25-26 at Zolder, although this date looks increasingly in question as several other leading championships – notably Formula 1, Formula E and IndyCar – have opted to suspend their schedules entirely until the pandemic abates.
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