Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, the start of the 2020 GTC Championship and inaugural GTC SupaCup is being suspended.
On Sunday (March 16), President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a State of National Disaster due to the increase in infections of the novel coronavirus. This was followed the following morning by Motorsport South Africa (MSA) and the Extreme Festival suspending all events until after the Easter weekend (April 10-13).
The initial announcement did not directly influence the start of the 2020 season; therefore, GTC management did not release a statement at the time. On Friday (March 20), MSA, however, extended the suspension of events until May 1; a decision that also effected the season-opener at the Killarney International Raceway on April 17-18.
GTC Director, Gary Formato, said regarding the decisions taken by the category: "We all realise the importance of taking these necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus, but also did not want to jump the gun on postponements before official announcements from the South African government, the governing body of the sport or the tour promoter.
"I have been in contact with various stakeholders and management team members throughout the week, and we agreed that the best course of action would be only to postpone once we are directly affected. As the situation is being monitored and advised upon regularly by the powers-that-be, we don't want to provide any concrete dates for now.
"At present, South Africa is still in the second phase of the virus spreading; so we don't want to commit to any dates just yet."
A serious request
The GTC Championship would like to request all members of the paddock, as well as motorsport fans to take care and adhere to social distancing guidelines set out by the South African government.
Formato said: "We want to stress that the battle to curb this starts with every one of us. Reduce your social contact to a minimum and when it is required, be mindful to keep a two-meter distance.
"Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. We all want to be back as soon as possible and we would like to see all our fans next to the circuit as well. This can only be achieved if we work together."