By Paul Evans
The handbrake has been firmly pulled on all motorsport activities in the UK until the beginning of May, after Motorsport UK suspended all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption.
Quickly following other sports responding to the coronavirus outbreak, evaporating hopes that circuit racing and rallying might be able to continue behind closed doors where extinguished when the Government introduced directives asking people to avoid all non-essential social contact and non-essential travel, as well as withdrawing the provision of emergency services to mass gatherings.
This means that the opening three rounds of the JD Tyres Welsh Tarmacadam Rally Championship (Tour of Caerwent, 29 March, Tour of Epynt, 11 April and Altratech SMC Stages, 19 April), the next two rounds of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Stage Rally Championship (Rally North Wales, 28 March and Rallynuts Stages Rally, 18 April) and the next two rounds of the Welsh Road Rally Championship (Rally Llyn, 14/15 March and Night Owl, 25/26 April) have all been postponed.
Events at Anglesey Circuit and the Welsh Motorsport Centre at Pembrey, which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, have also been postponed.
“Clearly we live in challenging times and exceptional measures are required,” said Ruthin-born David Richards CBE, Chairman of Motorsport UK. “The decision to suspend Motorsport UK permits on a temporary basis is not one that was taken lightly as the industry employs many thousands of people. However we have an over-riding responsibility to our members and the friends and families of our community. Furthermore, our social responsibilities extend to the broader population and the potential drain on valuable public health resources on which we are all reliant.
“The situation is very fluid and we will continue to monitor developments over the coming weeks and hope that we can resume the annual motorsport calendar at the opportune moment. In the immediate short term our efforts need to be focused on ensuring that the industry that backs up the sport has the financial support that it requires from the Government in order that it can be sustained beyond this extraordinary scenario.”