BSB: New guidelines prevent fans from attending Donington and Snetterton meetings
New guidelines given by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) mean that British Superbike fans will be unable to attend race meetings in August.
The green light had previously been given for fans to attend five of the six BSB rounds, with series organisers MSV working hard to provide a safe, social distanced environment for fans, teams and media.
Related articles from MCN
- Lee Jackson tops Donington Park test
- Oxford Products Racing Ducati unveil livery
- Honda UK become UK Talent Cup sponsors
However, concerns were raised amongst BSB fans on Wednesday evening when it was revealed that fans would no longer be able to attend the British Touring Car Championship's season opener at Donington Park this weekend.
The DCMS deemed the BTCC to be an elite sport, meaning that it would need to hold races behind closed doors, following in the footstep of other sports such as football and cricket.
BSB has now been categorised in the same way and today's announcement means that there will be no spectators at Donington Park on August 7-9 or at Snetterton on August 21-23.
"MSV has followed the government's guidance at every stage in our event planning," today's MSV statement read. "Regrettably, in our most recent consultation with DCMS, their interpretation of the definition of Elite Sport has widened to include Bennetts BSB (and BTCC), as the leading national championships in the UK. This position coincides with the government's decision to postpone any further test events with spectators at Elite Sport fixtures. Unfortunately, this classification means that these events must now follow the government's Elite Sport pathway, with spectators presently unable to attend.
"In line with the wording of Elite Sport guidance, we have not considered these events to be Elite Sport, with the guidance focussed towards sports such as Premier League football and Rugby League, which tends to attract huge crowds, mostly in stadiums, and typically rely on public transport. By contrast, circuit venues are by their very nature wide-open spaces like parks, with ample room to enable social distancing across dozens of spectator viewing areas.
"To be clear, the decision not to allow spectators at Bennetts BSB events has nothing to do with MSV's comprehensive Covid-Secure procedures for keeping our customers and staff safe."
MSV will now be constant communication with the DCMS and local authorities to try and ensure the return of fans, with public health as a priority, as soon as possible.
"We understand that this news will be hugely disappointing and difficult to understand, and we are so sorry for the inconvenience this will cause," the statement continues. "We were really looking forward to welcoming fans to these events and have worked extremely hard to provide a totally safe environment, liaising closely with local partners, so this development is very frustrating for the entire team at MSV.
"We politely ask that customers do not contact us regarding their tickets - we intend to email all affected purchasers by email today with further details, including how to claim a full refund. Venue Season Pass holders will be contacted in the next few weeks with details on how we intend to manage their bookings."