At long last!
24. August 2020That was the relieved refrain all round – among the teams, the individual organisers, the promoter, the fans, and all those with a passion for the races featuring the 5.3 tonne, up to 1,200 hp colossi, – when it was made known that the 2020 FIA European Truck Racing Championship would indeed kick off at Autodrom Most on the last weekend of August. There’d been fears that the season might be cancelled altogether.
Instead, the racing begins at the point when the teams should have been competing in the fifth of eight races. Corona has changed the world permanently in many ways. The effects on truck racing will take a long while to wear off – the COVID-19 safety prescriptions of the FIA and the respective race organisers are radical but indispensable.
To begin with, there won’t be an open paddock. The individual series of the supporting programme will be strictly separated. Not even the truck teams may come into close contact with one another. In addition, the sport consists not only of the racing itself but also the exhibitions in the paddock by sponsors and the industry; at the moment these stand disallowed.
The fans will be allowed in well-defined areas, and be required to space themselves out. This, of course, will shrink the number of spectators dramatically – but at least a certain few will be allowed trackside, in contrast to the majority of other motorsport events. Everything is being reduced to a minimum, to avoid every avoidable risk. Based on an analysis of this first round, the authorities will decide how to proceed with the five remaining ones. Were the restrictions reasonable or too restrictive? Can some of them be eased at the subsequent events? Are all organisers able to organise an event under the Corona 19 protocol in their respective country? And not least, the legal requirements in individual countries can change any time. Longer-range planning is just not possible, not even in truck racing.