The rescheduled Spa 24 Hours endurance race in October will go ahead with or without spectators according to GT World Challenge Europe boss, Stephane Ratel.
Speaking with Motorsport.com, Ratel also confirmed that the two Italian rounds due to start the season off in the revised schedule will take place behind closed doors due to the ongoing pandemic.
“We have a responsibility to our competitors for Spa to take place, even though it would be a disaster if there is no public. It would be a disaster financially to have no spectators and it is not the point of the event.
“Spa is a festival and a well attended event; we have done very well in growing the number of public since the days when Proximus [the former event sponsor] gave out free tickets.
“No fans at Spa will be terrible, but I am not considering that the 24 Hours won’t happen.”
The ban on mass gatherings set by the Belgian government is scheduled to end on August 31, well before the October 24-25 date set for the 24 Hour race.
Ratel remains hopeful that “limited public” would be allowed to attend the event, even if lockdown requirements were to be extended throughout the nation.
“There might be an intermediate situation with a limited amount of people allowed: 5,000 people would not be good, but at least there would be some fans.
“It would allow teams and sponsors to bring guests; the whole ecosystem of our series relies on that. Spa is a big venue, so social distancing would be possible.”
Ratel remains optimistic that the races in Germany and France will be open to the public because the ban on mass gatherings is set to end in both countries on August 31.
“We hope to open it up as soon as possible, but we will have to wait for the exact guidelines from the government and the sporting federation in each country.”