For the past couple of months, all the motorsports we've been watching are set in the virtual world. While it has been exciting to watch, part of us is missing real cars go wheel to wheel on the race track. Recently, the IATF made an amendment allowing some non-contact sports to be allowed. That got us thinking: Can motorsports be allowed under this new normal?
Technically, racing is a non-contact sport. There is no physical touching between two persons when they're out on the track. Sure, they touch bumpers and fenders from time to time, but person to person contact isn't really possible unless the drivers, well, get down from the car and go near each other.
But can auto racing be done while the pandemic is still around in the first place? Apparently, it is possible, as recently demonstrated by NASCAR. The American racing series had, of course, follow physical distancing rules, which has changed the rules and dynamics of the sport.
For instance, the sport has gotten rid of practice and qualifying sessions. That's to lessen the time drivers and crews have to spend on track. The fewer time people spend outside their homes, the fewer chances of contracting the virus. The number of people within the track is restricted as well.
Physicians, and not just temperature scanners, are assigned to perform tests on all those who enter the track, be it drivers or crew members. Also, there shall be no spectators inside the facility. All people within the track are also required to wear masks and maintain physical distancing. Here's the kicker; non-compliance will result from ejection from the venue.
So yes, racing is possible even during a pandemic. NASCAR has shown that, with the strictest and stringent precautions, we can see live wheel to wheel action again. But what about here?
Per the IATF, sports such as running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, and skateboarding, among others are allowed but didn't explicitly mention motor racing. That said, there is a glimmer of hope.
According to the agency, “sporting events can resume in areas that are set to be placed under a modified GCQ (MGCQ)”. So even if it isn't totally clear if motor racing is allowed at the moment, it is technically possible as it is a non-contact sport. To be erring on the side of caution though, we're more likely to see it back once MGCQ is set in motion.