No official test day prior to rescheduled Le Mans 24h in September

The rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours in September will not have an official test day, race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has confirmed

The ACO has decided against running the test day, which since 2005 has normally taken place two weekends before the race, for multiple reasons, according to its president, Pierre Fillon.

He explained that it had been forced "rethink our priorities" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already resulted in major changes to the world motorsport calendar.

The Motos 24 Hours motorcycle enduro on the Le Mans-Bugatti circuit has been put back from April to September 5/6.

Fillon said that "holding two major events within three weeks of each other is a challenge" and that it was necessary to "sacrifice the test day".

He explained that there was also a desire not to "overtax" competitors in what is likely to be a crowded schedule for the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series after the resumption of racing.

IMSA has already reshuffled the run-in to its championship in North America by moving the Laguna Seca round forward by one week to September 6 to accommodate teams also competing at Le Mans.

Fillon pointed out that "the test is not as old as the race and has been skipped on many occasions".

"We've never been faced with a situation like this before," he added.

"An unprecedented situation calls for exceptional measures."

A full schedule for Le Mans week is due to be announced at a later date.

The ACO is due reveal whether the postponed Spa round of the 2019/20 WEC will be rescheduled and a revised calendar for the 2020/21 season in early April.

No mention was made in the ACO statement announcing the cancellation of the new 'Hyperpole' qualifying system introduced for this year.

The Le Mans test day, held on the full eight-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, was a regular part of the international sportscar schedule in the 1960s and early 1970s.

It made a short-lived comeback in the 1980s before returning in 1993, briefly becoming a competitive prequalifying event.

The only years since then that it did not take place were in 2009 and '10, when it was cancelled as a result of the economic downturn.

It returned in 2011 with a date at the end of April, before moving back to its slot two weeks prior to the race.

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