The rescheduled Spa 24 Hours blue riband round of the GT World Challenge Europe in October will go ahead with or without spectators, series boss Stephane Ratel has vowed.
Ratel made the claim after confirming that the two Italian rounds due to kick off the revised GTWCE schedule announced last week will take place behind closed doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have a responsibility to our competitors for Spa to take place, even though it would be a disaster if there is no public," he told Autosport.
"It would be a disaster financially to have no spectators and it is not the point of the event.
"Spa is a festival and a well attended event; we have done very well in growing the number of public since the days when Proximus [the former event sponsor] gave out free tickets.
"No fans at Spa will be terrible, but I am not considering that the 24 Hours won't happen."
The ban on mass gatherings in Belgium is scheduled to end on 31st August, well before the 24-25 October date to which the Spa Endurance Cup round of the championship was moved late last month.
Ratel said that if lockdown requirements are extended in Belgium he is hopeful that "limited public" would be allowed to attend the Spa event, which is also a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
"There might be an intermediate situation with a limited amount of people allowed: 5000 people would not be good, but at least there would be some fans," he explains. "It would allow teams and sponsors to bring guests; the whole ecosystem of our series relies on that. Spa is a big venue, so social distancing would be possible."
The Imola GTWCE enduro set for 19th July and the Sprint Cup round at Misano on 8-9 August will go ahead without spectators.
"The first two races in Italy are certain to be without public," Ratel stated.
The twin legs of the GTWCE will continue with a six-hour race at the Nurburgring on 6th September and then a sprint event at Magny-Cours on 12-13 September.
Ratel explained that he remains optimistic that these races will be open to the public because the ban on mass gatherings in Germany and France is also due to end on 31st August.
"We hope to open it up as soon as possible, but we will have to wait for the exact guidelines from the government and the sporting federation in each country," he said.
Suzuka IGTC rounds decision nears
The future of next scheduled round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Suzuka set for August should become clear this week.
Ratel explained that he is expecting an answer from the circuit imminently on whether the 10-hour due to take place on 23rd August can go ahead as planned.
"We want to wait until the last possible moment because the situation is changing all the time, but we should know on Friday," he said.
The state of emergency in Japan was lifted last week in all but a handful of local prefectures which do not include Mie where Suzuka is located and professional sport in the country is expected to start resuming in June.
Ratel revealed he is confident that the Indianapolis 8 Hours, which will now share the bill with the new Harvest Grand Prix IndyCar round, will go ahead on 4th October as planned.
He said the Kyalami 9 Hours due to take place on 22nd November is "on at the moment", while next year's IGTC-opening Bathurst 12 Hours on 7th February will share the bill with the new final round of the 2020 Australia Supercars championship.