It might be a new year, but the coronavirus continues to disrupt the plans of the motorcycle racing community, and the 2021 edition of the North West 200 is the first race of the year to be canceled because of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions.
The news comes from Coleraine and District Motor Club Ltd., and it comes after official advice from government and public health officials. As such, the North West 200 organizers felt it would be impossible to run the event this year, despite recent vaccination efforts.
The North West 200 had considered delaying the race later in the year, moving the race from May to August, but ultimately the organizers decided that the uncertainty of what the late-summer could look like in terms of COVID-19 concerns was still too great.
At consideration was not only the North West 200’s ability to run a proper and safe event for its participants, but also the safety and welfare of the residents in the north coast area of Northern Ireland.
According to their press release, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the North West 200 organizers to limit the number of people who travel to the area during race week which, in turn, could pose a significant risk to the local population.
This makes it the second year in a row that the North West 200 will have to be canceled because of the coronavirus, but don’t expect the iconic road race to be the only motorcycle racing event that suffers this fate in 2021.
There are question marks regarding the Isle of Man TT, despite the Manx island having the virus well under control. And, there are concerns about other summer events, like the Suzuka 8-Hour, being able to run this year – just to name a few.
As we saw last year, 2021 will be full of cancelations as the virus continues to wreak havoc on scheduling this mass gatherings this year. Stay tuned in the coming months, because we are sure to hear of more cancelations and schedule changes.
Source: North West 200