POSSIBLE PHASED RESTART OF SOME RACING FROM 4TH JULY
I emphasise the words ‘possible’ and ‘some’ because there are lots of caveats, ifs, buts, and maybes, but the pote§ntial is there. Whether or not our Snetterton meeting will be one of those to run if the go-ahead is given is not known because the number of race meetings that would be allowed to run cannot be more than 50% of the total number that ran in July 2019.
Key points to note at present are:
- From 1st June clubs can apply to Motorsport UK to run race meetings on or after 4th July 2020;
- Any resumption of motorsport is contingent on event organisers demonstrating that they can plan in accordance with the recently published, “Getting Back on Track” guidelines of Motorsport UK, while respecting government guidance on social distancing.
- The move is contingent on the government continuing with measures to open up society and that further restrictions resulting from any additional waves of COVID-19 are not required.
- There will be a number of caveats of granting event permits, including that event organisers commit that their events will be held behind closed doors, appropriate PPE requirements are met, and that each organiser must appoint a COVID-19 officer to ensure compliance with any relevant guidelines. Furthermore, there will be a limit on the number of permits issued for July to 50% of those in the corresponding month of 2019, in order that there are sufficient volunteer Official and Marshal resources available to support the restart in a safe and responsible manner. No national or British championship events will take place in July to reduce potential national and international travel (excludes FIA championships).
How all this will come out in the wash for the Alfa Romeo Championship remains to be seen, but the final point about no national or British Championship events taking place in July is interesting. At first sight it gives hope to club racing events; on the other hand we are a ‘national championship’ in one sense of the term so we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.
COVID 19 REQUIREMENTS
Motorsport UK has issued a Covid 19 Guidance document to the organisers of race meetings. Some of the key points of this Guidance as it affects drivers are summarised below. A link to the full document was placed on the alfaracer website on 19th May. 750 Motor Club members should also have received a link to the full guidance by email.
Some of the key points to note are as follows:
- In place of the normal scrutineering arrangements all competitors will be required to complete and submit a pre-event declaration, either by email or an online administration system, detailing their equipment and expiration dates as appropriate. The Competitor is signing to declare that their vehicle and equipment is of the required standard and in compliance. The Scrutineers will have sight of the information and can perform sight checks.
- Marshal reports are to be verbal and not necessarily supported by written reports. Further guidance will be issued in respect of judicial matters in due course.
- Team personnel will be required to wear appropriate PPE in line with Government advice in effect at any given time.
- Whether or not teams/drivers will be able to arrive the previous day to set up an awning etc will be dependent upon the organiser/venue. Some venues may need to stagger arrival times. Ventilation is a key message and therefore awnings, if used, must remain as open as possible; it is recommended that only the roof section should be erected.
- The document makes no mention of spectators so by implication it seems that there may not be any. Organisers and venues may need to limit attendance to ensure that they are able to adhere to social distancing requirements and any limitation on gatherings, so the implications for family members and sponsors wishing to attend, for example, is not yet clear.
- Transponders may still be hired under sanitised conditions but competitors will need to check with the organisers that transponder hire is available at an event.
- Participants must be conscious of and satisfied with their own safety and of the impact of their actions on other participants. Any queries to the officials/organisers must be via electronic/digital means or to the admin desk where provisions can be made for social distancing and protection of staff
- Any driver involved in an incident must indicate that they are OK by signalling with a “thumbs up” at the front windscreen at the earliest opportunity and to the approaching marshal. Failure to do so will result in mobilisation of medical personnel. If a competitor can safely exit the vehicle, they should do so, then stand in a suitable location and respect social distancing.
- Visits to Medical Centres should be avoided other than for serious injury/illness. Competitors/Teams are encouraged to bring and use their own first aid kits etc in the event of minor injury/illness.
- Team Personnel must not attend the event if they are unwell and if any member should become unwell during the event they must notify the organiser, by electronic or telephonic means, and will be required to leave the venue
- Social distancing shall be in accordance with government requirements including PPE. Contact areas must be regularly sanitised. Sharing of tools and equipment is to be avoided where possible. Team Managers are to retain a record of personnel attending the Event.
The 750 Motor Club and all other clubs organising race meetings will need to put flesh on the bones of the above requirements to satisfy Motorsport UK and the Government that a meeting can safely be run.
750 MOTOR CLUB AIMS
The 750 Motor Club’s approach to the resumption of racing was as follows prior to today’s announcement by Motorsport UK. It will of course need to be reviewed in the light of that announcement:
‘Providing we are given the “green light” to run events from July onwards, our current plan is to run all of the remaining race meetings on our 2020 schedule with the potential of extending the season into November in order to replace some of the lost meetings. Our aim would be to try and give each of our championships and series at least 4 events, however, in order to achieve this some compromises may have to be made, these include potentially combining suitable grids at some events and moving championships to predominately single day formats in order to reduce the volume of people in attendance at a venue on a given day.
Once promoted events such as the British GP, British Superbikes and BTCC finalise their revised calendars it is likely that we will be able to confirm our new schedules in reasonably quick succession. As soon as we are in a position to share any further relevant information concerning the restart we will do so as fast as possible.
I’m pleased to say that we now have 27 drivers registered for the Championship and there are a number of others waiting to register once there is clearer information about when racing will commence. The latest driver to register is Worcestershire-based Luke Powell. Luke has acquired the ex-Martin Jones 147 from Bianco and will be racing in the Twin Spark Cup.
We are also expecting a registration from Connor Davies who has acquired the yellow 156 raced by Avni Ropica back in 2018. Connor is a former RAF aircraft technician now still in active service in the Royal Navy. He has raced karts from a young age and raced for a number of Armed Forces teams in their karting championship endurance series. This will his first experience of circuit racing in a race car and he has secured sponsorship from CRD Van Conversions to race in the Twin Spark Cup.
Potential MiTO and Giulietta Class
We are very keen to establish a future Championship class for Alfa MiTOs and modern Giuliettas and to build on the development work undertaken by David Faithful and Davie Peddie in the Scuderia MiTO team over the last couple of years. The plan is to aim to establish a detailed technical specification to ensure the cars are equal in terms of power and handling and utilise identical key components accordingly. We are making good progress in this regard and we will hopefully be able to confirm details in the relatively near future. For the time being, the cars will need to race in the Power Trophy pending sufficient numbers to form a Championship class of their own.
One tricky problem to be overcome is weight differential: the production Giulietta is significantly heavier than the MiTO as well as having a different chassis and if they are to share the same engine configuration we need to find a solution to equalising their performance, weight reduction in the Giulietta being an obvious potential approach. On the build front, Davie Peddie’s DPMD outfit is under way with the build of a second MiTO racer and Bianco also has one in the planning stages. Both also have plans in hand to construct Giuliettas. This is an exciting development aimed at bringing more modern Alfas into the Championship.
Stay safe and well!