GPA Long Beach “monitoring” California coronavirus threat

The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach’s president and CEO Jim Michaelian says the coronavirus threat in California is being monitored and precautions have been taken ahead of one of IndyCar’s most prestigious events.

GPA Long Beach “monitoring” California coronavirus threat

The 46th running of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is due to be held April 17-19, as the third round in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

Since Indy cars replaced Formula 1 as the headline act at the GP in 1984, Long Beach has become U.S. open-wheel racing’s ‘crown jewel’ race outside of the Indianapolis 500, and is reputed to draw more than 180,000 visitors over the course of the three days. The event includes races for IndyCar and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as four support series, car expositions, and concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings.

However, the coronavirus threat is reported to be spreading fast in California – the Los Angeles Times reports 60 cases at time of writing. LA Times also reports that there are 13 cases in LA County, in which Long Beach is situated.

Sonoma Raceway, some 400 miles north of Long Beach, announced today that Shell Oil Company has canceled the 2020 Shell Eco-marathon Americas event that had been scheduled for April 1-4.

Michaelian on Wednesday issued a statement which reads: “We are actively monitoring the situation and working with the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our attendees, which is our top priority.

“Some of the precautions we and our partners will be taking include making sure all of our attendees have access to fully-stocked handwashing stations as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizer. In addition, we will ensure that frequently touched surfaces are routinely cleaned and disinfected.

“At this time, the threat to the general public is low and there are no changes planned to the regular operation of our event this April 17-19.”

Michaelian went on to tell Motorsport.com today: “We, like most of the other event operators [in Southern California] such as the Dodgers, Angels, Disneyland, etc. are in constant contact with the Los Angeles County Health Department as well as, in our case, the Long Beach Health and Human Services Department for any updates in the situation, as well as additional measures that they would recommend be adopted at our race.

“In the meantime, we are looking to implement the procedures that have currently been outlined, and will be in effect on Grand Prix weekend.

“Our planning for the event continues full speed ahead and there’s been no conversation about any deviation from the course at this time.”

Meanwhile, similar sentiments have been expressed by organizers of next week's IndyCar season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL, according to The Tampa Bay Times. An official statement from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg stated: "Don’t expect any disruptions to the event schedule.” 

The Times went on to quote the organizers as saying: “We are also working closely with the City of St. Petersburg and all racing series to ensure the well-being of our spectators, volunteers, employees and event participants with next weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"We are asking everyone associated with the event to follow basic hygiene precautions as recommended by the CDC, such as frequent hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer and covering coughs and sneezes appropriately.”

Meanwhile the fourth round of the IndyCar championship is to be held at Circuit of The Americas, just outside Austin, TX, which today canceled its South by South West (SXSW) tech convention due to coronavirus concerns. 

 

shares
comments
Palou “100 percent ready” for IndyCar despite limited testing
Previous article

Palou “100 percent ready” for IndyCar despite limited testing

Next article

DragonSpeed reveals livery for IndyCar opener at St. Pete

DragonSpeed reveals livery for IndyCar opener at St. Pete
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021