24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race postponed to September

This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans has been postponed to September.
This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans has been postponed to September.
Image: Supplied

The 2020 Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race has been postponed from June 13-14 to September 19-20 due to the coronavirus outbreak, its organisers said on Wednesday.

"Postponing the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the original dates in June is now the most appropriate way forward in the current exceptional circumstances," said Automobile Club de L'Ouest (ACO) president Pierre Fillon in a statement.

France responded to the pandemic on Tuesday by putting its 67-million people under lockdown in an unprecedented act during peacetime.

Le Mans, which will be hosting the 88th edition of the endurance classic at the Sarthe circuit in northwest France, has long been a magnet for UK motor racing fans, with tens of thousands usually making the trek.

Last year's race, won by Toyota in a car shared by double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, was watched by a crowd of 252,000.

The race also serves as the final of the FIA's World Endurance Championship (WEC).

"The most important thing today is to curtail the spread of this virus. Our thoughts go out to medical staff working relentlessly for the sake of us all," said Fillon.

"The postponement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans means making changes to the WEC and ELMS (European Le Mans series) calendars and we shall announce the new dates shortly.

"The safety and quality of our events will not be compromised."