A petition calling for the 2020 Isle of Man TT to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic has been gathering online signatures as teams are reportedly being consulted over how they want to proceed over this year’s event.
In February organisers released a statement confirming the event remains on course to take place between May 31 to June 12 but added that they are monitoring the unfolding global situation closely.
However, since then a number of high-profile sporting events have been cancelled or postponed – including four MotoGP races – as nations tighten their borders and restrict movement, raising fresh doubts that the road racing event will be able to go ahead.
With the Isle of Man following policy from the UK government, which is currently adopting a ‘delay’ phase, the local authorities are able to introduce social distancing and limit public gatherings.
According to the Belfast Newsletter, teams are now being consulted over the prospect of shifting the event to August instead, effectively in place of the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix.
However, Isle of Man Health Minister David Ashford told Manx Radio time is still on their side and there is no desire to make an imminent call on whether the event goes ahead. As of writing, tickets are still on sale.
It comes as a petition calling for the event to be cancelled altogether has been added to the Change.org online petition site. It reads: ‘Due to the covid -19 outbreak the Isle of Man TT should be cancelled for the 2020 season due to a danger to life risk’.
Beginning three weeks ago, it is close to reaching 2,500 signatures and has gained momentum in recent days in tandem with the growing global concern over the safety of more vulnerable people.
Though it is most likely the Isle of Man TT will be pushed back rather than cancelled – in line with most other motorsport events – it wouldn’t be the first time it has been halted after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 forced it to be canned.