The world is going through unprecedented times at the moment due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. Motorsport has like every industry around the world been affected due to race postponements and cancellations.
The start of Ireland’s motorsport season has been delayed. In a statement Motorsport Ireland President John Naylor said:
What strange and difficult times we find ourselves in.
As a community, we are having to come to terms with living life in a way that none of us could have imagined only a few weeks ago. Thankfully, our government, and we as a National Governing Body acted swiftly, and I believe that this swift action will stand us in good stead as we live through these challenging times.
There is not a house in the country that has not been affected by this pandemic, and as no one knows when we will see some return to normality, we all must cut our cloth accordingly. Most of us have elderly parents, grandparents or relatives and it is incumbent on each of us to look after every one of them through this. I have seen the Motorsport family react so positively many times before when one of our own needed help and I have every confidence that it is doing so right now.
Social media has a role to play and now is the time for it to be hugely beneficial as a communication tool with so many restricted to staying at home. I appeal to everyone to respect the movement restrictions and social distancing as this is proving to be the best way of fighting this terrible disease.
Most of us were around in 2001 when foot and mouth stopped our sport before, but even then, it was not a total international shutdown and many competitors travelled to France and Belgium to compete. The postponement of so many events is a huge blow to the motorsport community, but it was the right thing to do and the decision makers are to be commended for looking at the bigger picture as they considered such monumental decisions. The postponement of the West Cork Rally was especially difficult for the Cork Motor Club only hours before the event was to commence with many competitors already in Clonakilty.
Motorsport Ireland has respected government guidelines regarding restrictions from the outset. We will continue to do so for the greater good of the country while the current restriction on events up to June 1st will be continually reviewed. However, this will come to an end and motorsport will be back. When that time comes, I am 100% confident that our clubs and competitors will be ready, willing and able to step up to the challenge.
The motorsport family is a strong one and we will survive.
To everyone – be safe, respect our government’s instructions and look out for your family and friends.
With my best wishes to you all,
President, Motorsport Ireland