IndyCar has cancelled the first four rounds of the 2020 season, including this weekend's race at St. Petersburg, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.
Although Sunday's event on the streets of St. Petersburg was set to go ahead, albeit behind closed doors, IndyCar has subsequently decided to take its season opener off of the calendar amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the series organisers have also cancelled all races up until the end of April, including the race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, and the Circuit of the Americas round at Austin.
This comes after IndyCar had officially cancelled the round at Long Beach, also amid coronavirus fears.
"After careful consideration, including regular communication from our event promoters, health officials, and the city administrations in our respective race markets regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all NTT IndyCar Series events through April," a statement read.
"This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was to begin today and run through Sunday, 15 March , and continues through the AutoNation IndyCar Challenge at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas which was to take place 24-26 April.
"Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this IndyCar season and will miss our incredible fans who support us each year in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Long Beach and Austin, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners and media will always remain our top priority.
"We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule."
The next round on the calendar after the cancelled April races is the Indianapolis GP, just two weeks before the 2020 edition of the Indianapolis 500.
Should the coronavirus situation appear to approach no resolution in this time, IndyCar's flagship race would be under threat from also losing its place on the calendar.
It is unclear whether the cancelled races will be reinstated later on the calendar, which reaches its conclusion on September 20 at Laguna Seca.
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