Motorsport UK cancels all racing events until 1 July
With all motorsport cancelled until at least the middle of May, we have now been plunged into a Formula 1 winter break. If you live in the UK, that winter break is set to feel mind numbingly long as Motorsport UK, the country’s motorsport governing body has decided to suspend all on-track activity until the beginning of July.
The decision to prolong the nationwide suspension from the end of April to the end of June was taken after the British government announced a full lockdown for the next three weeks. "Today, the government have required that we effectively lock-down for a period of three weeks, however given that the most vulnerable in our society are required to isolate for three months, it is evident that the most responsible course of action was to propose a longer suspension of our sport,” said Motorsport UK chairman, David Richards
Several national and international series are going to be severely affected by the new measure including the likes of GT World Challenge Europe, British GT and the BTCC.
The first two rounds of the European GT series organised by SRO Motorsport were set to take place within British borders. The opening event, a sprint race at Brands Hatch scheduled for 2 May was set to be closely followed by the Silverstone 3 Hour Enduro on 10 May. The championship will now be getting underway at the end of May with the Paul Ricard 1000km.
With just six races making up this year’s calendar, half the British GT events have been cancelled and will be looking to reschedule. The Snetterton 300 was supposed to get the season going on 16-17 May with Silverstone and Donington races planned throughout June. The multiclass championship is now set to begin with the only race taking place abroad at Spa on 18-19 July.
Before today, the BTCC calendar had already suffered the loss of its first three events at Donington, Brands Hatch and Silverstone. Now, a further two race weekends have been cancelled due to the coronavirus meaning, at the moment, the series will not be visiting Thruxton or Oulton Park in 2020. That leaves the iconic touring car series with a 5-weekend, 15-race season starting at Snetterton on 26 July.
Obviously, all these dates go for the support series such as the Formula 4s, Ginetta Juniors and Porsche Carrera Cup associated with the TOCA package.
Thankfully, the national championships have quite large gaps between each event leaving some wiggle room for rejigging the calendar. For instance, between the Knockhill and Silverstone rounds in the BTCC, there is a month in which at least one event could be placed. The same goes for the month-long wait between the British GT’s Spa and Brands Hatch races.