Cancelled Suzuka IGTC race won't be replaced
The Intercontinental GT Challenge season will comprise just three races this year following championship organiser SRO's decision to not replace the cancelled Suzuka 10 Hours.
Back in March, it was announced the Suzuka IGTC fixture planned for August 20-22 had been scrubbed from the IGTC schedule for a second year in a row owing to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At that time, the championship said the 10-hour race would be replaced with a new event in the Middle East.
However, those plans have now been abandoned, with SRO stating that a "combination of calendar clashes, budget implications and general suitability has made a replacement round impossible to stage".
It means this year's IGTC campaign will now be made up of just three races: the Spa 24 Hours (July 29-August 1), the Indianapolis 8 Hour (October 15-17) and the Kyalami 9 Hour (December 2-4).
SRO founder Stephane Ratel commented: “We invested much time and energy into finding a replacement event that would uphold Intercontinental’s purpose of uniting the world’s great GT endurance races.
"And although several options would have achieved this aim, each also presented a new set of challenges to overcome. Given the current global situation I believe it is better to focus our energies on IGTC’s three existing rounds.
“I would like to thank each of the parties and promoters for their positive collaboration and hope to work with them again in the future.
"Indeed, although Intercontinental won’t be visiting the Middle East this year I remain confident that these discussions will subsequently allow us to explore fresh opportunities.”
The Suzuka 10 Hours is the only official casualty of this year's IGTC schedule so far, although travel restrictions prevented the series' traditional Bathurst 12 Hour curtain-raiser from going ahead in its usual February slot.
It remains unclear whether the global health situation will have eased sufficiently for the Australian race to be held again in 2022, when it would be normally expected to open the new IGTC season.
IGTC reveals 2021 calendar after Bathurst cancellation
Supercars wants 'premium' Bathurst GT event in 2022