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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

This will be motor sport ‘post COVID-19’

 Fiat 131 Abarth de Retro Cars Club

The Federación Española de Automovilismo (Spanish Motorsports Federation) has just published a health protocol to be applied in motor sport once the activity resumes. This encompasses teams, officials, fans, medical services, etc.

June 27 is the proposed date for the resumption of motor sports in the Canary Islands with the celebration of the 36th edition of the Villa de Santa Brígida Rally (Gran Canaria), which will serve as a touchstone for a specialty that faces a "new normal" that is one of the most complicated to apply, as it is very difficult to control spectators in open venues or public roads, a task that in a closed circuit is [only slightly] less arduous.

That is why the RFEdA has divided into two groups of specialties:

1) Asphalt, dirt and karting circuits

2) Road: rallies of all kinds, hillclimbs, etc.

In all types of circuit, both training and competitions can take place without an audience or with controlled capacity, according to the percentages ordered by the State at each phase.

On the roads, organizers can merely provide information and recommendations to people who watch the race from the sides of the roads, or from adjoining public or private land.

Competitions in open venues or public roads

• The competitions that are contested on public routes will have a capacity limitation, consisting of maintaining safe distances between individuals.

• In the design of spectator areas, a differentiated entrance and exit will be established whenever possible, to avoid encounters. Likewise, routes of a single direction will be planned, as well as distance points indicated on the ground.

• Where people have active contact they should be protected with masks and protective gloves, and even with face shields.

• A disinfection plan for the areas of concentration must be implemented. The common areas must be decontaminated, at least twice a day.

Timed sections

• As this is an outdoor activity, it is only possible to recommend that crowds are avoided. This section will be limited by the regulations of the current confinement phase by the health authorities.

• The design of the event will avoid those points that historically suppose an exaggerated concentration of public. In this case, extreme security measures will be taken.

Temperature taking

• Before the start of the competition, the body temperature must be taken of all the participants, as well as the federated personnel [marshals, etc.]. In the case of presenting a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees, the test should be repeated five minutes apart.


• Participants will wear hood or balaclava that covers their mouth and nose.

• Participants will use gloves approved according to automobile regulations.

• Participants will use hydroalcoholic gel.

• The other members of each team (mechanics, etc.) must wear masks and gloves.

Assistance areas

• Access will be limited to duly accredited persons, maintaining the capacity that the safety distance allows, and must always wear a mask and gloves.

• The space established for assistance maneuvers will be adapted according to current preventive security regulations [according to phase].

• All gastronomic activity within the assistance area will be external, through a takeaway service.

• The distance between the assistance tents and the number of technical and managerial personnel per team will be in accordance with current regulations [phase].

This is a condensed version of the new normality for motorsports that must be strictly observed by all involved, especially fans, on whom the suspension or celebration of a event will depend. Supervision will need a maximum level of compliance, not only by the event organizer but by external officials who may decree the cancellation of a competition at the slightest hint of breach of social distancing or other health measure.

Así será el deporte del motor ‘post COVID-19’

[ED NOTE: I thought it was worth translating and reproducing this as similar measures are bound to be applied to many other activities and it therefore gives us a flavour of what's to come. But is restarting sport so urgent? Would it even be fun with such restrictions? Personally, I really cannot see the public adhering to these rules and think it might have been better to wait until next year or whenever it's really safe.]