Motorsport UK has suspended permits for all sanctioned races and rallies until at least 30 April, forcing the start of the British Rallycross Championship to be rescheduled.
Several rallies have already been either postponed or canceled due to the global spread of the coronavirus, including the next two rounds of the British Rally Championship in West Cork and Clacton-on-Sea.
But Motorsport UK’s statement, in line with advice from the UK government, has curtailed the start of the British Rallycross season too which was meant to begin at Lydden Hill on 12 – 13 April.
That round will instead be held on the 7-8 November weekend.
A plethora of other national rallies have also automatically been called off in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Some event organizers have taken the plunge despite running after Motorsport UK’s initial deadline, with both the Manx National and Jim Clark rallies, which were set to be run in May, joining the list of canceled events on Tuesday.
Motorsport UK Chairman David Richards hopes the motorsport calendar can be resumed at the “opportune moment” but stated that motorsport has an “over-riding responsibility” to the wider community and the national health service that must be considered first and foremost.
“Clearly we live in challenging times and exceptional measures are required,” he said in a statement.
“The decision to suspend Motorsport UK permits on a temporary basis is not one that was taken lightly as the industry employs many thousands of people.
“However we have an over-riding responsibility to our members and the friends and families of our community.
“Furthermore, our social responsibilities extend to the broader population and the potential drain on valuable public health resources on which we are reliant.
“The situation is very fluid and we will continue to monitor developments over the coming weeks and hope that we can resume the annual motorsport calendar at the opportune moment.
“In the immediate short-term our efforts need to be focused on ensuring that the industry that backs up the sport has the financial support that it requires from the government i order that it can be sustained beyond this extraordinary scenario.”
The UK government has issued guidelines to the population to avoid all non-essential travel and work from home if possible. Close to 2000 cases of the COVID-19 pandemic have been confirmed, with that number predicted to spike rapidly.
A source told DirtFish they suspect there could be no motorsport in the UK until late August or early September