Sport Poncharal: "High probability that there will be no races in 2020"
Porsche's virtual race series starts tomorrow with pro drivers at the wheel
It's not just multi-manufacturer racing leagues like NASCAR going digital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Porsche is livestreaming its Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition starting on April 4th at 10AM Eastern, when drivers take to a digital version of the Spanish Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for two races in 911 GT3 Cup cars. The iRacing-based series will have 31 drivers, 22 of which are full-time Supercup racers -- the nine others are factory and young professional drivers fielded by big-name sponsors like TAG Heuer and Vodafone.
According to the current status, the MotoGP season 2020 starts in mid-June at the Sachsenring (). Looking at the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, it becomes clear that holding a grand prix with 200,000 visitors and people from all over the world is an illusion in just two months.
Currently, some participants have doubts about racing at all in the 2020 season. IRTA President andteam owner Herve Poncharal also fears that the season will end without a race.
"The worst case scenario would be no races this year. I don't want to be pessimistic and think we should send positive signals to the world. But there is a high probability that there will be no races in 2020 there, "Poncharal explains in an interview with.
MotoGP plans to stop development by the end of 2021 to save costs
© LAT To protect manufacturers and teams, development should be frozen With the prospect of a shortened MotoGP season 2020, the racing series plans the main aspects of development until the beginning of the 2022 season. Herve Poncharal, President of the IRTA team association, confirmed this to ' Crash.net '. The goal is to cut costs for manufacturers.
From when can the teams travel freely again?
"The virus continues to spread. It will be a long time before we can live and travel freely again. The paddock is made up of so many different nationalities," says Poncharal, describing the biggest hurdle for returning to normal racing. "It will be a long time before these people are allowed to travel freely again."
Poncharal calls Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta several times a day and advises how to proceed. The decisions are made together with the parties involved.
rights holder Dorna, the motorcycle world association FIM, the team association IRTA and the manufacturer association MSMA are involved. "The MotoGP family works as a group. We stick together. It's very positive," says Poncharal.
Ezpeleta on calendar planning: "If it starts late, there are not all races"
Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta now assumes that not all MotoGP races can be driven - adjustments are possible at any time Due to the increasingly strict measures against the further spread of the corona virus is uncertain when normality will return in Europe and worldwide. The chance that the majority of MotoGP races will take place in 2020 drops from week to week. Recently the European start in Jerez (Spain) had to be postponed indefinitely.
A month ago, 19 races were still conceivable
"When we were in Qatar a few weeks ago, we thought that we would have the opportunity to make up for the canceled races and have 19 races. After a few days, we understood how the situation developed negatively. We started to cancel the races in Thailand, the USA, Argentina and later also Jerez, Le Mans and Mugello, "Poncharal looks back.
"The best possible scenario is ten races at the moment. I don't think it's very likely, but I hope so," said the Tech 3 team owner. "Ten races would be fantastic. Then we could be very happy at the end of the 2020 season."
But the reality is different. The private teams in particular suffer from the forced break. "The factory teams will also have problems, but they will survive. For the Moto3 and Moto2 teams as well as the private teams in MotoGP, it will be about survival," Poncharal predicts. "If we let the teams die, it will be extremely difficult to rebuild everything."
start of the season in Spielberg? MotoGP closely monitors Formula 1 plans .
© LAT The first races in 2020 could be in Spielberg The motorsport world is currently looking forward to the plans for Formula 1. Two races could take place in Spielberg in July. If that actually works, then it would be a pointer for other racing series. The Motorcycle World Championship is watching this closely, because the Austrian Grand Prix would be scheduled for August 16. "MotoGP and Formula 1 have exactly the same business. The problems are identical.