The 2020 Isle of Man TT has become the latest motorsport event to be called off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers announced today that the TT races would not take place in 2020, despite last-minute attempts to move it to later in the year.
Teams were originally consulted by organisers about a move to the Classic TT’s dates in August and September after a petition of Manx citizens drew over two thousand signatures in only a number of days.
However, Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, announced the cancellation in a statement that said: “The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly and all options including postponement and delaying the decision have been considered in detail.
“Representatives from the Isle of Man Government will now discuss the implications with all relevant businesses, stakeholders and individuals affected by this cancellation, which it recognises will be significant.
“With the visitor restriction in place for the foreseeable future we wanted to make the decision now to give businesses, visitors and all involved stakeholders time to manage the impact going forward.
“The Isle of Man, and the Isle of Man TT, are faced with unique challenges regarding COVID-19 and making this decision will provide certainty to teams, competitors, sponsors and stakeholders of the event and to visitors across the globe.
“The decision also aims to provide reassurance for our residents and healthcare professionals that the health and well-being of the Isle of Man’s residents is the single biggest priority and focus of this Government.”
It is only the fourth time in its 113-year history that the Isle of Man TT will not run.
The TT was called off between 1915 and 1918 and between 1940 and 1946 due to world wars, while the only other year the event has been cancelled was in 2001 at the height of the foot and mouth pandemic.
It becomes the highest-profile road race to be cancelled so far in 2020, but joins Northern Irish season-openers the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee Road Races after they too were delayed earlier this week.