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WEC cancels Sebring race because of COVID-19 travel ban from Europe

World Endurance Championship WEC

SEBRING, FL - MARCH 15: The #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR of Michael Christensen, and Kevin Estre in action at the start of the race on March 15, 2019 in Sebring, Florida. (Photo by James Moy Photography/Getty Images)

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The World Endurance Championship has canceled its March 20 race because of the COVID-19 travel ban on visitors from 26 European countries over the next 30 days.

In a release early Thursday morning, WEC officials said they carefully reviewed the viability of staging the race, which made its debut last season.

“Given the large number of drivers, team staff and officials who are still in Europe and who were scheduled to travel to the USA in the coming days, it would not be possible or appropriate to stage the race in their absence,” the release stated. “The decision to cancel was communicated and accepted by John Doonan, President of IMSA late in the evening of 11th March.”

Race cars and equipment for the race already had arrived at the Sebring International Raceway paddock. The WEC said it would focus on “an orderly return to Europe.”

IMSA released a statement late Wednesday afternoon that it had no schedule changes planned for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which will take place March 21.