Normality will return….at some point

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall/Euan Cameron Photography

It may seem an awfully long way off, but rest assured, rallying will return to our gravel roads.

The problem will be that the back-end of the year will be so choc-a-block full of events that fitting them all in will be nearly impossible.

Firstly, there are five rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship that need to be slotted into a period which may be just five months long, perhaps even shorter.

And that’s dependent on event organisers being able to: A/ secure a date, and B/ get everything re-prepared from an organisational point of view.

That’s not just finding a free weekend to do some skids. There are hotels that need to be secured, venues for presentation functions, sports grounds for service parks, and numerous other considerations.

When you then have to work around dozens of other non-motorsport events that also need to be re-scheduled, you can start to see that it’s a logistical nightmare for all involved.

“It’s hard to make plans. The whole situation hasn’t settled down into something foreseeable yet,” Otago Rally spokesman Roger Oakley said this week.

On top of all that, think of all the other motorsport events that need to be slotted in to the calendar as well, and the drain this will put on car clubs, volunteer event officials and medical teams.

The Coronavirus pandemic currently shows no signs of easing, and this week’s lockdown only serves to reinforce the seriousness of the situation that we all find ourselves in.

Depending on how long this whole saga goes on, rather than rescheduling dozens of events we may, regrettably, get to the stage where it makes more sense to simply cancel motorsport for the rest of 2020 and move on to 2021.

That’s still an unlikely scenario, but a month ago, so was locking down the whole country!

It’s impossible to say what the rest of 2020 looks like, but if we all do our bit then we have every chance that it at least will involve some motorsport events.

Stay safe, and look after yourselves.

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media.

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