Probably the least shocking cancellation of 2020 has been officially announced this morning. The 2020 UGP has been cancelled.
A few short weeks ago before Covid-19 started savaging the planet expotientially road racing was in trouble, but the calendar was still full, one major event though was in absolute jeopardy – the 2020 Ulster Grand Prix. A press release from early February 2020 had pretty much confirmed that there would be no 2020 event without actually stating it.
Just a Though :
Obviously we all currently face a much larger beast than the thought of no 2020 Ulster Grand Prix, but when the 2020 Coronavirus is retired (hopefully soon) to the history books, we need to remember and learn what had happened previously re the UGP, and not just assign to history that it didn’t happen because of the global pandemic.
Let’s be candid – there was no chance of there being a 2020 Ulster Grand Prix. The event was in real trouble before this cancellation and let’s all hope that this sabbatical gives it the chance to rise from the flames. However, moving forward we still have to learn so that once the world heals the road racing world can continue also. Road racing events need to be supported, but they can not rely on program sales alone. The UGP system failed, so not only does the amount of money coming in need to increase but the cash flowing out needs to be reduced. If not, in 2021 there will be another post relating to the fact there is again no Ulster Grand Prix. There is still a chance to fix it.
The following is the club’s official statement :
2020 ULSTER GRAND PRIX CALLED OFF
It is with great regret the organisers of the Ulster Grand Prix, the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club, must announce the race will not take place in 2020. Despite numerous meetings in recent months with councillors, MLAs, MPs and Ministers and other interested parties, we have been unable to find the necessary financial support to run the meeting this year. The unprecedented crisis surrounding the Coronavirus epidemic has made finding a solution at this stage impossible.
Following official confirmation from our Governing Body, Motorcycle Ireland, it is with regret that we confirm the cancellation of Keevers Pub Faugheen 50 road races on 18th & 19th July 2020.
As a club we want to respect those of our members, officials, sponsors, racers & residents who are currently working in Frontline Services & not ask them to do more work voluntarily on our road races in the weeks leading up to our road race, over race weekend & the week following our road race just when they may need a break. We wish everyone working in Frontline Services the very best in the difficult weeks & months ahead. It is really true, not all hero’s wear capes.
To our road racing family, we hope you understand our concern for our families, friends & colleagues & our wish to support them in the only way we feel we can in these difficult times.
We will be back bigger & better in July 2021 & we hope you will make the trip to Faugheen to watch terrific road racing & have a bit of craic with our wonderful residents & ourselves.
In the meantime, take care & if you are passing anywhere near Faugheen, you will find some of our club members enjoying a coffee & scone or a pint in Keever’s Pub in the village. Call in as there is nothing more we like than to have a catch up chat.
Although a bit off from the usual remit of motorsport this news is just simply too huge to pass by. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until ‘no later than the Summer of 2021 due to the global coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic – yet they will still be called ‘Tokyo 2020.’
“I proposed to postpone for a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement,” said Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister.
The event will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.
In a joint statement, the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the IOC said: “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.
“On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the Covid-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’.
“There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today [Tuesday], the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
Southern 100 Racing held a meeting of its senior race officials on Wednesday evening 18th March to discuss the running of the 2020 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races either on the scheduled dates of 6th, 7th, 8th & 9thJuly or possibly postpone them until later in the year.
It was decided after discussion regarding the present and on-going situation regarding the Coronavirus 19 crisis and the announcement by the Isle of Man Government’s Chief Minister earlier today that the current situation could continue for at least a further six months and after consultation with the club’s Chief Medical Officer regarding the availability of Doctors and Paramedics to cover the races, many of whom travel from the UK, that it is unlikely that they will able to leave their respective positions, we would have insufficient cover to run the races on the scheduled dates or any other.
The Doctors, Paramedics and other medical people who live on the Island will be similarly occupied at Nobles & Ramsey Cottage Hospital and other Medical practices and will like their UK counterparts will be involved with the COVID-19 cover and unlikely to be allowed to take leave.
Added to the lack of medical cover there is also the likelihood of a shortage of Race Marshals due to travel restrictions presently in place which may well be increased between now and July and could result in less than the required number of marshals available to man the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course.
It was therefore decided by the Race Committee, very reluctantly to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races.
The Committee left it was better to take this decision now, rather than defer on a monthly basis in the hope that Medical cover would become available at the ‘last minute’.
Whilst it is major disappointment for the race organisers, we know that the announcement will be met with a similar response from competitors and race fans who enjoy attending the ‘friendly races’ year on year and Southern 100 Racing look forward to welcoming you all back to the Billown Course in 2021.
This also means that the postponement of the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races announced in a Media Release on Monday 16th March are now also cancelled. Competitors who have entered will be contacted by the Race or Club Secretary in the next few days.
The dates of the 2021 Road Races on the Billown Course are:
Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races
Friday, Saturday & Monday 28th, 29th & 31st May 2021
Silicone Racing Post TT Road Races
Saturday 12th June 2021
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races
Hopefully this year will see the release of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X – that ‘hopefully’ refers to the unknown impact that Covid-19 will have on either systems’ release. But let’s stay positive and rephrase that…
This year will see the release of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. So in the war of Sony v Microsoft who will win in the PlayStation 5 v Xbox Series X battle?
Regardless of whether you are just a gamer, a console gamer, a Sony fanboy or a MS fanboy the specs look pretty exciting…
Southern 100 Racing, organisers of the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races & Silicone Post TT Road Races are very conscious of the unprecedented situation regarding the COVID 19 outbreak and are fully behind the Isle of Man Government’s Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK’s decision to cancel the 2020 TT Races and the races that traditionally open and close the TT Festival in the interest of the health of the people of the Island, but also the safety of our volunteers, officials, local residents and landowners around the Colas Billown Course and also the competitors and spectators and the wider general public.
Whilst planning for the 2020 Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races and the Silicone Post TT Road Races were well advanced and entries being received and accepted and course preparation due to commence, Southern 100 Racing are saddened that they are having to cancel both events which have grown in popularity over the years and have become an integral part of the TT Festival.
The Club is presently reviewing the situation regarding holding the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races later in the year, however it will not be possible to re-arrange the Silicone Post TT Road Races.
Southern 100 Racing will be in contact with all competitors, who have entered either or both the Pre-TT & Post TT Races regarding refund of entry fees in the next fortnight.
In the meantime, please put the following dates in your diary for 2021 (they have already been added to the TBNI Road Racing Calendar): Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races – Friday, Saturday and Monday 28th, 29th & 30th May and the Silicone Post TT Road Races on Saturday 12th June. Look forward to seeing you at and around the Colas Billown Course then.
2020 North West 200 Postponed : Official Statement :
STATEMENT RE THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE 2020 FONACAB AND NICHOLL OILS NORTH WEST 200
Given the current concerns and restrictions around the Coronavirus public health crisis, the organisers of the 2020 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 will postpone the May 10-16 Race Week. Over the past two weeks we have been in constant contact with government and public health officials, representatives of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, and the sport’s governing body, the MCUI (UC). Today’s decision has been based upon the advice and guidance received. Our paramount desire is to act responsibly and do all we can to protect everyone from the threat posed by the virus. We enjoy the full support of loyal sponsors and stakeholders in making this decision but apologise for any inconvenience it has caused to them, our competitors, volunteers and race fans.