When there’s much more in play than just motorsport

It seems selfish to be worrying about motorsport at a time when the world is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Parts of the world are already in lock down, countries have closed their borders, hundreds of people are dying, yet many of us want motorsport to continue.

Yet in all the drama that’s unfolding around us, surely that’s not such an unreasonable thing to want, even if it’s highly unlikely.

We all need entertainment, and in a time when that’s being taken away from us, the hope that rallying may continue in some form is a real carrot that’s dangling in front of us.

As it stands now, next month’s Otago Rally will go ahead as planned, yet without 30 international teams that simply can’t get to New Zealand without being self-isolated for 14 days. The event will suffer greatly.

That’s a major financial hit for the Otago Sports Car Club, probably in the region of $40,000.

It’s not just fewer entries that will hurt, however.

Personally, I had a group of 25 spectators heading to the event from Australia. There were many, many more Aussies heading across the ditch to watch the rally too.

Then there’s the event functions that now probably won’t be able to be held. The hugely popular prize giving dinner, the ceremonial start in the Octagon, Thursday night’s ‘Dinner with the stars’.

It goes on and on and on.

Amongst all the downsides, however, let’s hope that the rally can run and that the OSCC can at least put on the rally that they have planned.

However, the odds of that happening would have to be shortening by the day, if not the hour.

There’s talk of mass gatherings of over 100 people being banned, and the USA are asking for gatherings of no more than 10 people. It’s crazy, but it’s real.

For sure, we all want rallying (and our lives) to go ahead as if nothing was happening, but that’s no longer possible. There are now much, much bigger things in play than what are, for all intents and purposes, recreational activities.

As hard as it is, we just have to hold tight and wait until this whole COVID-19 saga blows over – whenever that may be!

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.


Related Stories

Join in the conversation!