Indy 500 postponed and golf's US Open set to follow suit
Motor racing’s prestigious Indianapolis 500 has become the latest major event on the sporting calendar to be postponed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The race, which traditionally takes place on the last Sunday in May, has now been moved to 23 August.
The Indy 500 joins a long list of motor racing events to have been impacted by the emergency as eight Formula 1 races, rounds of electric car racing’s Formula E, and the Le Mans 24 Hours have either been cancelled or postponed.
As Indy 500 events run for more than a week, the plan for the rescheduled meeting is to have practice from 12 to 14 August, followed by qualifying from 15 to 16 August, and the race a week later.
Roger Penske, the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said: “The month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favourite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500.
“However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.”
This year’s Indy 500 will be the first under Penske’s tenure after the billionaire US motor racing entrepreneur acquired the IndyCar Series and the IMS last November.
The surprise agreement between Penske Entertainment Corp and Hulman and Company also included Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions.
Meanwhile, this year’s US Open golf championship, one of the sport’s four majors, is set to be postponed, it has been reported.
The event, scheduled to take place from 18 to 21 June, will now be moved to “later in the summer” but will still be staged at Winged Foot in New York, according to the New York Post.
The US Open will be the third of the four majors to have been moved as the Masters and PGA Championship, scheduled for April and May respectively, have already been postponed.
The R&A, the organiser of the British Open, the fourth major on the golf calendar, remains hopeful the tournament can still go ahead at Royal St. George's in England on 16 to 19 July.
The PGA Tour has already suspended several tournaments and events across four weeks on the six tours it organises.
However, the PGA of America denied that a decision had already been taken to postpone this September's Ryder Cup in USA until 2021.