Earlier this year, Toyota announced that they will not be participating in the upcoming Nurburging 24 Hours endurance race this coming September. It would mark the first time in 13 years that the automaker will not be participating in the event. Now, it seems another Japanese entrant in the Nurburgring 24 will be following in Toyota’s footsteps – Subaru.

The Japanese automaker has announced that its motorsports subsidiary, Subaru Tecnica International (STI) has decided to back out from the upcoming 48th Nurburgring 24 Hour Race. The team says that difficulties, specifically related to health and safety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have made it nearly impossible to conduct overseas racing.

Similar to Toyota, it would be the first time the STI NBR Challenge will not be competing in the race in 12 years. Since they first joined in 2008, Subaru has experienced numerous successes in the event. The most recent achievement includes winning the SP3T class in 2018 and 2019. They were even aiming for their third consecutive class win this year.

“This year, we have made such a difficult decision, but on the contrary, we regard it as a step towards the future that STI aims for, and we will make a positive move forward toward 2021 as a team. We would like to thank all the fans who always support Subaru/STI, the team sponsors, and all those who concerned with the team. We look forward to your continued support in the future,” said Yasuo Hiraoka, president of Subaru Tecnica International.

Subaru says they will take the time off to continue the development of their vehicles and will return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours race in the 2021 season more competitive than before.