BOSSES at the Southern 100 club have today revealed the cancellation of this year’s road races as the pandemic continues to fettle play.
The Isle of Man, which entered a 21-day circuit-breaker lockdown last week as a result of a rise in active cases on the island, is still closed to visitors without a valid exemption.
And with the clock ticking ahead of this summer’s Billown bash, chiefs were forced to make the difficult decision to axe the 2021 event.
“It is very disappointing that the club have had to make this decision after what appeared circumstances would be favourable to run the Southern 100 in July, as normal,” said Club Chairman and Race Secretary, George Peach.
“Behind the scenes during the winter we have been busy getting all the paperwork in order and in constant contact with our race partners, sponsors, government agencies and others vital to getting the races organised and ready to run – all of whom have been fully behind us for the races to be run on their traditional dates.
“It will certainly be a major blow to our competitors, many of whom make the Southern 100 their feature event of the year, as well as the numerous fans and enthusiasts who travel across annually to enjoy the exciting close massed-start races on the Colas Billown Course – all of which were prevented from attending in 2020 and were looking forward to making their journeys across the Irish Sea later this year.
“Southern 100 Racing have looked at alternative dates later in the year, however the concern of the Chief Medical Officer was that sufficient medical cover could not be guaranteed later in the year.
“A similar situation could exist regarding marshalling the course, with the organisers having to rely more and more on visiting orange army personnel.
S100 press officer Phil Edge added: “Interest from the media and fans regarding this year’s races has been constant and it is sad that we are not able to run as we hoped.
“As race organisers, we will now take a deep breath and direct our energies towards our three road races held on the Colas Billown Course in 2022 and welcoming back our competitors, race fans and all who enjoy The Friendly Races.”
Southern 100 Racing has confirmed its 2022 event dates:
Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races: Friday, Saturday & Monday, 28, 29 & 31 May 2022
Silicone Post TT Road Races: Saturday, 11 June 2022
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 11, 12, 13 & 14 July 2022