2019 FIA WEC 24h Le Mans 2019, Le Mans, France. Photo © John D Stevens.

Despite proposing various options, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Sarthe Prefecture have today jointly announced that the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be raced on 19-20 September 2020 behind closed doors.

Both organisations had considered many options to welcome limited numbers of fans to the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, having referred to the public health and safety authorities and given the uncertainty surrounding the development of the situation, the ACO and the Sarthe Prefecture have unanimously decided that the event will go ahead on 19-20 September 2020 without spectators.

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said “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.