The DTM Series has announced that the scheduled official four-day pre-season test at Hockenheim has been cancelled, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The test, planned for 16-19 March, was originally due to take place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, ahead of the iconic track’s first DTM round in June.
In late February, DTM organiser ITR moved the test to Germany after Italy reported an exponential rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the main affected areas being close to Monza in the Lombardy region.
ITR then announced that the test would not be open to the public on 5 March, before prohibiting all media on Thursday.
A statement released on Friday afternoon said that both Audi Sport and BMW Motorsport fully support the decision to cease running.
“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.”
Following the cancellation of multiple sporting events around the world for the foreseeable future, slight doubt has been cast on the opening round of the championship at Circuit Zolder on the weekend of 24-26 April.
Mohaupt assured fans that ITR is communicating with all the relevant parties to make the situation clearer as time ticks down.
Formula 1 was left in an unenviable position on Thursday evening/Friday morning, cancelling the season-opening Australian Grand Prix just hours before the start of Free Practice 1.
“With regard to the start of the 2020 season, we are engaged in a close dialogue with our partners, manufacturers and local race organisers.”