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Organisers Cancel Friday Running

The first day of action at this weekend's opening round of the World Touring Car Championship at Monza in Italy has been cancelled as a mark of respect for the death of Pope John Paul II, who is due to be buried on that Friday

With the Italian government declaring a national day of mourning, WTCC organisers met with circuit bosses and representatives of the other race series due to take place at Monza to discuss their options.

In the end, it was decided that the best course of action was to cancel all running on Friday and re-arrange the timetable for the rest of the weekend - with action now kicking off on Saturday morning.

Jacques Behar, chairman of series promoters KSO, said: "I wish to thank the championships' promoters - SRO, Alfa Romeo and Maserati - the event promoter, all staff at Monza Circuit and KSO, for all their efforts in making this emergency change possible. A change that, we believe, is fully respectful of the tragic death of Pope John Paul II.

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