The IndyCar open-wheel racing series is canceling the first four events of its 17-race 2020 season, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that was set to run Sunday.
The next three events were to be the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, set for April 5; the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach, set for April 19; and the AutoNation IndyCar Challenge, set for April 26.
“Although we are disappointed to delay the start of this IndyCar season and will miss our incredible fans … the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners and media will always be our top priority,” a media release from the series said Friday.
“We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule,” according to the release.
The next two events are considered part of the Month of May festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The GMR Grand Prix is set for May 9, and the Indianapolis 500 is set for May 24.
IndyCar is just the latest major sports league or series to cancel or postpone events due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The list includes the NBA, NHL, XFL, PGA and the NCAA’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The decision represents a huge setback for racing mogul Roger Penske, who purchased the struggling IndyCar series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in January with plans to reinvigorate interest in the series.
This story will be updated.