The French endurance race begins June 16 at 9 a.m. Eastern.
This year’s rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours will be open only to spectators who have purchased a ticket to the endurance classic by June 29. Those who have purchased grandstand seats, camping, parking, or hospitality admissions for the event will also be able to buy a corresponding general admission ticket.
In today’s statement, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the event organizer, announced that the race will be held in front of a limited audience on the circuit and that “pending the evolution of sanitary conditions and rules concerning events bringing together a large audience, the ticket office is temporarily suspended.” The event will also be open to members of the ACO within the number of available seats.
What the statement did not reveal is how many spectators are expected for the event. Traditionally, attendance for the race is in excess of 250,000.
In addition to the limits on spectators, the ACO has also revised and condensed the timetable for race week. Scrutineering will take place at the track on Wednesday rather than in the center of Le Mans.
The race will be begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday as opposed to the traditional start time of 4:00 p.m. Practice will now begin at 10:00 on Thursday morning, the first of three sessions on the opening day. The opening 45-minute qualifying session in which all 62 cars will take part has been moved up to 5:15 p.m. The fastest six cars in each of the six World Endurance Championship (WEC) classes will advance to the new Hyperpole session, which is set for 11:30 a.m. on Friday after a final one-hour practice session. The warm-up on Saturday morning has been set back to reflect the fact that the cars will be on track on Friday.
In the statement, ACO president Pierre Fillon said: “At the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, solidarity and responsibility will be more than mere words.
“Responsibility is one of our founding principles. We are therefore sure that our loyal spectators will understand our position and support our decision.
“We will not be breaking any attendance records this year, but all the magic of the race will remain intact and the spectator experience—trackside or from a distance—will remain world-class.”