This year’s rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours will take place behind closed doors without spectators in a U-Turn made by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

The prestigious race was originally scheduled to take place in June but was moved back until 19-20 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Race organisers hoped to be able to stage the race with a limited number of spectators trackside but following advice from local government authorities amid uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus situation, a decision has been taken not to proceed with fans in attendance.

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A statement from the FIA said that “protecting the health of competitors, partners and spectators has always been of paramount concern to the ACO and the FIA”.

Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO, said: “The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans will go down in the annals of history as, sadly, the world’s greatest endurance race will be run this year with no spectators trackside.

“Over the last few weeks, we have looked at many ways in which we could hold our event in September with fans present, albeit in limited numbers.

“However, given the constraints involved in organising a festival-scale event over several days in the current situation, we have opted with the local government authorities to hold the race behind closed doors.

“There were still too many question marks regarding health and safety. We know that our fans will be as disappointed as we are by this decision but, with public health in the balance, it really wasn’t a difficult call to make. You don’t compromise where safety is concerned.

“Fans will not miss out altogether. They may not be at Le Mans, but our media teams and service providers will bring Le Mans to them! We are sure that we can count on everyone’s support and understanding at this time.”

Ticket holders will be contacted by the ticket office regarding the event.