The NTT IndyCar Series’ next event, the Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, will now be another doubleheader as the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
As the number of active cases in the state of Oregon continues to rise, governor Kate Brown restricted the crowd-gathering limits to a maximum of 100 people. Even at the previous limit of 250, it was going to be difficult to hold a grand prix with how many team members and other official personnel needed.
In its stead, a second race at Mid-Ohio has been added. The course will now be hosting the seventh and eight rounds of the 2020 season on 08 and 09 August, with the weekend structure looking similar to what the series ran at Road America.
No times been made official by IndyCar yet, but Motorsport.com reports that there will be a long practice session on Saturday morning (08 August), followed by a two-group qualifying session and then the race. On Sunday there will be another two-group qualifying session and then the race.
The cars will be put into parc ferme between qualifying the race, meaning that teams cannot work on the car during that time.
Portland, which returned to the IndyCar schedule in 2018 after a 10 year hiatus, may not be the only track on the chopping block, either. It was reported last week that teams are preparing to also be without the Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
If Laguna Seca was to be axed, double headers could be made by adding additional events at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (30 August), and the Harvest Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (03 October).