Bad news, fans of real-world roadracing: The 2021 Isle of Man TT has just been canceled.
Of course, COVID-19 is to blame, same as it was for the 2020 TT. Officials at the Isle of Man are worried the TT’s tourism boost would turn the racing into a superspreader event, one that would overwhelm the island’s healthcare system. Back in May, that was a realistic possibility, as it was the earliest days of the pandemic’s spread.
Now, without vaccinations started, and most of the UK under fairly restrictive lockdown, the Isle of Man’s government thinks it’s best to keep the TT canceled another year. But still, a cancellation in November sounds early, doesn’t it?
Lance Skelly, the island’s minister of enterprise, said leaders “are making an early and logical decision to provide certainty and clarity to race fans and everyone else involved in our event.” With thousands of volunteers and officials needed to make the races happen, the government thought it best to cancel early, so the question wasn’t hanging around all winter.
What about moving the TT to later in the summer? Skelly added, “We evaluated all possible options including moving the TT to a date later in the year but there are complexities and risks, including scaling up of certain infrastructure and critical delivery elements of the TT, as well as existing resident and visitor travel in late August, which would cause further disruption to thousands of people.”
That doesn’t sound good for the Manx Grand Prix or the Classic TT, then, although they haven’t officially canceled it those events yet.
Isle of Man officials say the TT will return for 2022 on May 28-June 11.