Just when we thought the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel was getting close, the ongoing effects of COVID-19 keeps moving the goalposts because official news reaches us today that this year’s Classic TT, due to take place between Sunday 22nd August and Monday 30th August, has been cancelled.
This of course follows news from last November of the 2021 Isle of Man TT cancellation for the same reasons which means by the time practice begins for the 2022 Isle of Man TT, the last closed-road lap of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course (Senior Manx Grand Prix) would have been two years and nine months earlier (1003 days).
‘The Isle of Man Government has taken the decision to cancel the event due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly the availability of marshals, medics, race officials and other volunteers needed to run the event safely and effectively’, read a statement released by the Isle of Man Government’s Motorsport division.
Paul Phillips, TT Business Development Manager, said, “Obviously this is yet another disappointing announcement for us to have to make but as with the cancellation of the 2021 TT Races, it was important that an early decision was made to give clarity and certainty to the thousands of visitors and individuals that come together for the Classic TT.”
“A two-year break from racing on the Island is not what anyone would have wanted, but our Motorsport Team have been hard at work to ensure that the TT and Classic TT return stronger than ever in 2022 and we look forward to sharing some of these developments in the coming weeks and months.”
Laurence Skelly, Minister for the Department for Enterprise, Isle of Man Government, added, “Despite the undoubted progress that the Isle of Man and the UK are making in rolling out its vaccination programme, the central issue of the availability of sufficient marshals, medics and other race officials to run the event safely and effectively remains. We also have to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the Island’s residents, and the sustainability of our own health service, through managing our island’s border protocols, allowing medical professionals both on the Island, and those that come over to support the event, to instead be able to concentrate on the ongoing medical challenges presented by the global pandemic.”
Luke Brackenbury, PR, Brand & Events Manager for Bennetts, the title sponsor of the Classic TT, said, “With so many riders and race fans looking to put 2020 behind them and start getting excited about this year, even after the TT 2021 cancellation, this is frustrating yet understandable news for the motorcycling community.
“Looking to the future, the incredibly passionate and dedicated team that delivers the TT, Classic TT and Manx GP events have already teased us at Bennetts with their next steps for this unique event and we believe the best years of the TT are still to come.”
For visitors who have already booked travel and accommodation for this year’s Classic TT, the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise is working closely with accommodation and travel providers to encourage them to change bookings to equivalent dates for next year’s event.