Historic motor sport to restart in England from March 29

Words: David Lillywhite | Photography: Donington Historic Festival

Historic motor sport will be permitted to start again from March 29, according to the British government's new guidelines for easing lockdown, but events will be subject to local restrictions and Covid precaution guidance issued by national governing bodies.

The governing body for the sport, Motorsport UK, is now granting permits for all disciplines of motor sport, including historic.

Motorsport UK says it will resume the sport in accordance with its Restart protocols, which have guided the safe resumption of motorsport through the lifting of the two previous lockdowns. Updated guidance relevant to the latest restart will be available on MotorsportUK.org.

The governing body acknowledges the target of late spring for allowing spectators on a limited basis. 

Motorsport activities in the devolved territories of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands are subject to separate government guidance, which Motorsport UK says it will provide updates on as soon as possible. The Isle of Man is not subject to a lockdown at this time.

Motorsport UK CEO, Hugh Chambers, commented: “We are extremely grateful to government for providing the opportunity for motorsport to resume in England from 29 March. This will be very welcome news for our community, which extends from professional drivers and teams, through to the grass roots of the sport with tens of thousands of enthusiasts. Collectively they fuel an industry employing 41,000 people and generating over £10 billion for the economy, so this is a vital step in securing the UK’s future as leaders in motorsport around the world.

“Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can announce similarly positive news from the other home nations. Clearly strict protocols still apply, as our sport needs to play its part in supporting the NHS and wider frontline community in keeping infection rates under control, and our Restart Guidance has enabled us to accomplish that objective on two previous occasions. I would like to thank the Motorsport UK community for their support during lockdown, and for their spirit and fortitude in keeping the sport together for when this announcement came. We now look forward to getting motorsport up and running at the end of March.”

One of the first major UK events will be the Donington Historic Festival on May 1-2.

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