This year’s North West 200 road racing event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made by the organisers of the event this morning after liasing with government and public health officials for the last couple of weeks.
The event, like several other sporting events around the globe, has been under threat for several weeks following the outbreak of coronavirus. The future of the event was thrown into further doubt when the official launch event was postponed last Friday.
Last week, the clerk of the course Mervyn Whyte had suggested that postponing the race meeting would be very difficult. This led to many predicitng that the event would be cancelled, but today’s statement says that it has simply been postponed. No new date has been given at this stage, and there is still a possibility of the event being cancelled in the coming weeks.
“Given the current concerns and restrictions around the Coronavirus public health crisis, the organisers of the 2020 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 will postpone the May 10-16 Race Week,” reads today’s official statement.
“Over the past two weeks we have been in constant contact with government and public health officials, representatives of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, and the sport’s governing body, the MCUI (UC).
“Today’s decision has been based upon the advice and guidance received. Our paramount desire is to act responsibly and do all we can to protect everyone from the threat posed by the virus.
“We enjoy the full support of loyal sponsors and stakeholders in making this decision but apologise for any inconvenience it has caused to them, our competitors, volunteers and race fans.”
The postponement of the NW200 comes less than 24 hours after the 2020 Isle of Man TT was cancelled for the first time since 2001. The North West was also cancelled that year due to the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth disease.
Organisers are still hopeful that the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix in August will still go ahead, however, as with all events at the moment, this may change in the coming days and weeks.
Elsewhere, the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100 events have also been postponed in the last few days.