The escalating global response to the COVID-19 outbreak is also now impacting on the two-day Pre-season test at Paul Ricard for the GT World Challenge Europe with two teams already having confirmed their non-attendance.
Defending Champions ORANGE1 FFF Racing Team by ACM confirmed yesterday that they were following the recommendations made by the Italian government in recent days and withdrawing from the test in the interests of their own staff, and “as an act of sensibility towards the team and others.”
This morning K-PAX Racing has confirmed too that, in the wake of the widespread travel restrictions announced on Thursday evening by President Donald Trump, they have now opted not to participate in the two-day test.
The team, set to make its full-season debut in Europe, will withdraw its crew as soon as possible, with an uncertain timetable of their return to its newly acquired satellite shop in Germany.
K-PAX Racing is also taking steps to ensure both the health and safety of all its members, which includes making travel arrangements for its American-based crew to return stateside ahead of the new travel restrictions imposed Wednesday evening by the U.S. government.
“We understand that theoretically, the U.S. cannot keep our guys from returning, but K-PAX Racing makes the well-being of each member on our team a priority,” Team Manager Thomas Blam said. “We have decided to withdraw from the series’ testing at Paul Ricard, and we will continue to adapt as a team ahead of the series’ start of the Endurance Cup. Series officials have been very understanding and accommodating under these unfortunate circumstances, which motivates us to return with a winning product, similar to what fans have seen in America over the last 13 seasons.”
While the K-PAX Racing two-car effort will not join the field of those testing, the team will still have a presence in the paddock. Team drivers, all hailing from different parts of the world, will stay on-site, helping other Bentley Motorsport customer teams within the series.
“It’s a real shame that the K-PAX Racing guys had to pack up and go home, but of course it’s the right thing to do, following the advice from the authorities to keep them safe,” Bentley Director of Motorsport Paul Williams said. “It’s been good to meet up with them and do some planning for the season, and the works drivers are staying behind which is a great chance for them to interact with the customer teams and Bentley Motorsport Academy. I look forward to seeing K-PAX Racing next time.”