The season opening event of the FIA World Touring Car Cup scheduled to take place at the Hungaroring near Budapest on 24 – 26 April has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Eurosport Events, the promoter of WTCR, confirmed the cancellation on Friday morning, after consultation with the FIA, Hungaroring Sport Zrt and MNASZ, the Hungarian ASN.
The announcement comes after the Hungarian government earlier this week declared a state of emergency over the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The full statement reads:
“Eurosport Events, promoter of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, in consultation with the FIA, Hungaroring Sport Zrt and MNASZ, the Hungarian ASN, regretfully announces the cancellation of WTCR Race of Hungary, originally scheduled for 24-26 April 2020.
“The decision is the result of Hungarian government measures taken in response to the coronavirus outbreak which bans public gatherings of more than 500 people until further notice.
“While cancelling events is not an easy decision nor a preferred course of action, health and safety factors remain the absolute priority and there will be no compromise on this. It is unfortunately not possible to reschedule WTCR Race of Hungary 2020 to a later date.
“To maintain WTCR’s planned 20-race schedule for this season, the FIA has agreed to the rescheduling of the qualifying session and two races planned for the Hungaroring weekend within the WTCR Race of Spain event, scheduled at MotorLand Aragón from 3-5 July. Details of the event format will be announced in due course.
“In consultation with relevant organisations and authorities, Eurosport Events is closely monitoring what are ever-changing situations in Germany and Slovakia, where the next two events are scheduled to take place. In the scenario that those events get cancelled due to government restrictions, Eurosport Events would propose to the FIA to add a third race on the following WTCR events in Portugal, Austria, China or South Korea, with the objective to run 20 races over the season.
“Eurosport Events places on record its grateful thanks for the understanding being shown by WTCR fans and for their ongoing support. The thoughts of the WTCR family are with those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Full refunds will be offered to spectators who have purchased tickets for WTCR Race of Hungary.”