The Nurburgring 24 Hours will take place behind closed doors this year, following the latest restrictions issued by the German government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following postponements to the 2020 race due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, the Nordschleife event has been moved to the weekend of 24-27 September, but the organisers have found themselves forced to make a difficult decision to close the race to fans, especially considering how much public has always been present along the over 23km of the Green Hell.
"It is obvious that we are all very happy that the race can be run this year, we have worked hard to make it so, but unfortunately there is an insurmountable inconvenience," said race director Walter Hornung.
"Unfortunately we will be forced to do without our fans in 2020. We will miss them because, more than any other motorsport event, the 24-hour event has traditionally created a unique atmosphere in our festival at the Norschleife over the years.
ADAC Nordrhein President Peter Meyer added: "It was very important for us to give teams and drivers a chance and we managed to do that. The commitment of manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, plus Nurburgring 1927 GmbH & Co. KG and Sporttotal, together with tyre specialists Falken and Michelin, not forgetting the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus team, was enormous from an economic point of view and they took a risk."
"Due to the absence of an audience, there will be no box office receipts and the expenses are clearly being covered. There wasn't much notice," Mirco Hansen, head of the organisation for the Nurburgring 24 Hours, added.
"The 24 Hour [race] will involve a very important financial effort for us, but we are very grateful to our staff for taking on the huge expenses so that the event could take place anyway."
Race organisers are working on plans to make the 2020 event streamed online, while also creating new ways to interact with fans online. Organisers also confirmed tickets purchased for the 2020 event can be reused for the 2021 edition.