The most famous American race, the Indianapolis 500 Miles scheduled for August 23, will ultimately not welcome spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced on Tuesday. “We regret to inform you that the 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on August 23 without a fan on the circuit. This also concerns all practice, qualifying and support races, ”said the organizers in a statement. “It was a very difficult decision, taken after extensive consultations with state and city officials,” they add. The organizers still hoped a fortnight ago to be able to accommodate about 25% of the usual number of spectators in the stands, or about 60,000 people, this proportion being itself down from the 50% envisaged in June.
Originally scheduled for May 24, the race was postponed to August 23 due to the pandemic that upset the start of the IndyCar Championship currently underway. The French Simon Pagenaud, crowned Indycar champion in 2016, intends to defend his title of winner on the “Brickyard” last year, for the first time in his career. The race will also see the participation of the two-time Spanish F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who is due to return to Formula 1 next year with the Renault team.