MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The famous touring car race series, DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), published on Wednesday a new calendar of races for the 2020 World Championship, which was earlier suspended due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Russia’s inaugural race near St. Petersburg was not included in the schedule, according to the DTM press service.
Late last year, DTM racing series officially included brand new Igora Drive race circuit near Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg. The race was scheduled to be held on May 29-31, 2020.
Following the eruption of the novel coronavirus across the world and subsequent measures to prevent the spread of the disease, an announcement was made that the scheduled DTM race in St. Petersburg was postponed either to late July or October. However, this race is not on the newly-published calendar of the 2020 DTM World Championship.
According to the newly-published calendar of the 2020 DTM Championship, the races will be held in 10 stages starting on July 10-12 at Germany’s Norisring racing track. It will be followed by the race at the legendary auto-racing track Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on August 1-2.
The rest of the announced DTM racing series events are now scheduled to be organized at: the Lausitzring circuit in Germany (on August 14-16 and August 21-23); the Dutch racing track Assen (on September 4-6); Germany’s Nurburgring circuit (on September 11-13 and September 18-20); Belgium’s Zolder raceway (October 9-11 and October 16-18).
The final race of the announced ten races for this year on the renewed calendar of the 2020 DTM Championship will take place on November 6-8 at the Hockenheim track in Germany.
Commenting on the updated calendar of the DTM races for this year Gerhard Berger, the chairman of DTM's umbrella organization ITR, said: "We would like to thank our fans for their patience in the past weeks, but now, we are all the more happy to be able to present a well-prepared and varied calendar that promises plenty of racing action."
"That is the result of the hard work by everyone involved in very special conditions," Berger said. "All in all, we have managed to come up with a compact calendar that was worth waiting for."
The contract to hold DTM races on the Igora Drive track was signed on October 3, 2019 as part of the official opening of Igora Drive. The contract to hold DTM races at the new circuit was inked for the period of three years.
Russia previously hosted DTM races between 2013 and 2017 at the Moscow Raceway circuit, located outside the Russian capital of Moscow. DTM races were not held in Russia in 2018 and 2019 due to various reasons.
The construction of the new racing circuit, which is located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) from St. Petersburg, began in 2016. Igora Drive was designed by Hermann Tilke, who created numerous FIA Grade 1 racing tracks, which host Formula 1 Grands Prix. Sochi Autodrom race circuit in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi, which hosted six F1 Grands Prix, was among Hermann Tilke's projects.
The 4,086-kilometers racing circuit neighbors a multi-sport complex, which offers rally cross and motor cross circuits, a karting circuit, as well as an off-road driving center.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 6,468,700 people have been infected worldwide and more than 382,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 3,078,900 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 432,277 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 195,957 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 5,215 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.