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Photo By Clay Cumbee

IMSA today announced realignment to upcoming dates on its 2020 schedule, which includes shifting of the Labor Day Weekend six-hour race from Watkins Glen International to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and the GT-only event from Lime Rock Park to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will host the six-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Sunday, Sept. 6, with three other IMSA-sanctioned series that all were previously scheduled to compete at Watkins Glen also moving to Michelin Raceway that weekend. A four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, with doubleheader races for both the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races also planned for the weekend.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will host the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in a 100-minute race as part of the NASCAR event weekend, Oct. 9-10, at the facility. This event will replace the Lime Rock Park race previously scheduled for Sept. 11-12.

Michelin Pilot Challenge, which also was scheduled to race at Lime Rock Park, instead will have a doubleheader of two-hour races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the weekend of Sept. 25-27. The GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will have three events per weekend at Mid-Ohio and the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 14-17.

Press Release From IMSA

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Russias coronavirus vaccine not certain to work according to scientists who developed it

Staff at the Gamaleya Institute are the first to develop a Covid-19 vaccine – RDIF and Gamaleya Research Cente /TASS

The Russian coronavirus vaccine hailed by President Vladimir Putin is not certain to work and has side effects including swelling, fever and pain, according to scientists who developed the drug.

Mr Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia had approved the world’s first vaccine against the virus, saying his own daughter had taken part in clinical trials. Officials said the vaccine would be offered to medics as early as this month and rolled out to the general population from October.

But documents on an official Russian health ministry website said the vaccine had been tested on too few volunteers over too short a time to draw conclusions about its effectiveness, and described a number of side effects.

“Adverse events…were met frequently or very frequently,” according to the report from Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine.

“It is not possible to define the occurrence of adverse events more accurately because of the limited number of participants in the research.” Thirty-eight volunteers took part in the trials over 42 days.

Side effects included swelling, hyperthermia, lethargy, headaches, itching at the vaccination site, decreased appetite, diarrhea and cold-like symptoms. Over the course of the trials, 144 “adverse events” were recorded, more than 30 of which were ongoing.

The vaccine was rep ortedly only trialled on 38 volunteers – RDIF and Gamaleya Research Cente /TASS

The report said the vaccine should not be administered to children, pensioners, or to people with a range of underlying health conditions.

No research was conducted into how it might react with other medicines, and nothing in the report backed up officials’ earlier claims that the drug would provide immunity for two years.

Mr Putin said his daughter had experienced a slight increase in body temperature after receiving the vaccine, but the next day was back to normal and had a “high number of antibodies”.

“I know it works effectively, forms strong immunity, and has passed all the needed checks,” the president said. Other officials announced there had been preliminary orders for more than a billion doses from 20 countries.

Story continues

Moscow hailed its speedy development as an example of its medical prowess, naming the vaccine “Sputnik V” in a nod to the Cold War space race. But scientists in Russia and abroad have criticised a lack of testing and transparency.

Scientists at the pharmaceutical factory Binnofarm have begun producing the vaccine but there is international scepticism about its efficacy – ALEXANDER NEMENOV /AFP

The World Health Organization remained sceptical about the Russian vaccine, saying on Wednesday it was “not ready at the moment to say there is a vaccine that has undergone the experiments we request for the assessment that it is ready for use worldwide”.

British researchers said the rush to roll out the vaccine was “reckless and foolish,” while the German government also raised doubts.

Others have highlighted that the vaccine has yet to pass Phase III clinical trials, which typically take months and involve thousands of people.

Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to the WHO.

Russia has officially registered more than 900,000 infections and 15,000 deaths from coronavirus, a lower proportion than other badly hit nations. Officials have denied suggestions they are underreporting figures.

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