Hurricane Ian made landfall along Florida’s southwestern coast as a Category 4 storm, with wind speeds peaking at 155 mph. The dangerous storm has already severely damaged infrastructure on the island of Cuba and knocked out electrical power across the entire country. Those along Ian’s projected path should adhere to the advisories published by authorities and evacuate if advised to do so. As one of the most powerful storms to hit southwestern Florida, Ian had drastically impacted air travel to and from South Florida as well as events in Florida and surrounding states.
Hurricane Ian has effectively stopped commercial air travel over most of Florida. According to Simple Flying, over two thousand flights in the United States have been canceled today. Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport were both closed on Tuesday in the Tampa Bay area. Orlando International Airport ceased its commercial operations today and tomorrow. Outside of Ian’s path, even Miami International Airport canceled 40 percent of its flights.
Petit Le Mans, the season-ending event for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, is predicted to be impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ian. The 25th edition of the 1,000-mile endurance race will be held this Saturday at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta. Road Atlanta lies within Ian’s projected path, and the storm is estimated to reach the track on Friday when qualifying is scheduled.
IMSA is prepared to change the event schedule if necessary, including delaying the race. The organizing body is prepared to race on Sunday, or even as late as next week Wednesday. IMSA president John Doonan told Racer, “At the moment, IMSA and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta are monitoring the situation closely. We will act accordingly and communicate any alternative decisions should it be necessary.”