Following the Government’s recent relaxing of some lockdown restrictions, the UK’s biggest track day operator, MotorSport Vision, is gradually re-opening its six circuits with strict social distancing measures. MSV’s trackday venues – which include Donington Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton – are accessible to drivers and a maximum of two passengers from the same household, while procedures like signing on and briefing will be moved online to prevent close contact.
MSV’s facilities – Bedford Autodrome, Cadwell Park and Brands Hatch among them – are to leave garage doors open and provide additional space in the paddock during trackdays to make it easier for people to remain at least two metres apart, while on-site cafes are operating using government takeaway guidelines. MSV said its protocols, which will also see in-car instructors banned, are designed to ensure its events “carry no more risk of infection, and likely much less, than a trip to your local supermarket”.
Unsurprisingly, MSV is also banning the use of its rented helmets, meaning track day drivers without their own lid will be required to buy one. Also of no surprise is the announcement that MSV’s staff have an enormous backlog of trackday credits to issue for customers whose original bookings were cancelled by the UK’s lockdown. The company said there may be a delay of up to two weeks before everyone is reached. Understandable, when you consider that much of MSV’s workforce has been furloughed.
As far as re-openings go, this one isn’t exactly a racing start - MSVT's official return-to-work date is June 1st - but given the circumstances it’s certainly a commendable effort. It's big step forward for British motorsport, too, following weeks of closure and the banning of racing during the pandemic, because MSV’s re-opening includes official test days for racing teams. Each squad will be offered exclusive or semi-exclusive access to each facility, allowing drivers to get back into the seat before competitive racing restarts.