March 12, 2020 / 7:35 AM / 16 days ago

Motor racing: WEC cancels Sebring race after U.S. travel clampdown

(Reuters) - The World Endurance Championship (WEC) has cancelled next week’s Sebring 1,000 Miles race in Florida after the United States imposed restrictions on travel from Europe for 30 days amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The WEC said that a large number of drivers, team staff and officials were still in Europe and scheduled to travel to the United States for the sixth round of the championship on March 20.

It added that it would “not be possible or appropriate” to stage the race in their absence.

"After a careful review of the situation, it has been determined that the WEC race will be cancelled," the WEC said in a statement here

The sweeping restrictions on travel from Europe, imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, starts at midnight on Friday.

The order does not apply to Britain or to Americans undergoing appropriate screenings.

WEC CEO Gerard Neveu said that while the cancellation of the race had been forced, his organisation was committed to the health and welfare of teams, officials and race fans.

“Further, the quality of every aspect of a WEC race event is at the heart of everything we do and will never be compromised,” Neveu added.

Several international sporting events have been hit by the virus which originated in China late last year and has infected more than 126,000 globally, killing over 4,000.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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