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WEC 1,000 Miles of Sebring Cancelled

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start of the 2019 1,000 Miles of Sebring
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

Due to the European flight ban put in place by the United States of America last night, the FIA World Endurance Championship 1,000 Miles of Sebring has been forced to be cancelled.

Teams and series personal travelling from Europe are faced with the impossible task of getting to the United States of America as a travel ban will be put into place on Friday at midnight. The ban, covering 26 European countries, is an attempt to slow down the global spread of the coronavirus.

Of these 26 countries, the UK is not on the banned list.

Gerard Neveu, CEO of WEC, stated: “This decision was not made lightly. Our teams and officials place great value on racing at Sebring in front of its enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans.

“While this cancelation has been forced upon us because of the travel restrictions from Europe to USA, WEC remains committed at all times to the health and welfare of its teams, officials and race fans. Further, the quality of every aspect of a WEC race event is at the heart of everything that we do and will never be compromised.”

GT racers at night
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

Whilst IMSA and Sebring Raceway officials still claim the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 12 Hours of Sebring will go ahead as planned, the American series round also faces similar issues to WEC with drivers and European-based outlets getting to the race. Renger van der Zarde told Motorsport.com earlier today that he was due to fly out to Sebring on Tuesday next week (17 March) but due to this flight ban had to bring his trip forward to today.

“I was supposed to fly [next Tuesday] but this morning I rebooked for today to get in front of the travel ban,” he said to Motorsport.com. “The airline’s website wasn’t working so I spent half an hour on the phone before I got through.

“I also rebooked for [Black Swan Porsche driver and fellow Dutchman] Jeroen Bleekemolen as well, I also tried to do the same for [Corvette Racing driver] Nick Catsburg but then the line was cut off. It’s real chaos.”

With the WEC cars and equipment already in Sebring in preparation for the race, the series will turn its focus on getting everything back to Europe.

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The Checkered Flag’s correspondent for the FIA World Endurance Championship. Working in motorsport as a hobby and as a professional, Alice is a freelance digital communications manager, video editor and graphic designer at OrbitSphere. She also runs and manages her own YouTube channel - Circuit The World - with videos on gaming, travel, motorsports and reviews.
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