Sunday , 23 June 2024

The Statman’s Track Guides – Pandemic Edition

The world continues to be affected by the ongoing global pandemic, but racetracks up and down the UK are opening up their doors to fans with open arms. It is important in these challenging times to support your local circuit, or even to travel further afield and try a new venue out.

I have previously written about things to do and bring with you when attending a race, but with the current worldwide situation as it is, there must be a few extra additions to consider.

While many things at a racetrack are still the same, there are some additional bits of information that will be important to know beforehand. I have personally attended two events since the start of the situation – one at Brands Hatch in September 2020 prior to the second lockdown and one at Castle Combe in May 2021 once outdoor events were permitted to host spectators in limited numbers.

With all that in mind, here are a few things to consider before you head out to a racetrack in the UK:

  1. Bring a mask – For the most part, it won’t be required since you’ll be outside in the open air, but many tracks request that you wear a mask indoors. This could be either for food or just the toilets. On a cold day or when it’s windy, a mask will also double up as a great way to keep your face warm.
  2. Buy tickets in advance – Many tracks currently are only allowing tickets in advance and not selling at the gate. To ensure you get in, buy them in advance. In addition, venues are still operating at a limited capacity, and therefore larger events could well end up selling out.
  3. Check for any track restrictions – Paddocks that are usually open may now be closed, or you may find that not all of the track is accessible. Check in advance on the track/series website what is different and what to expect.
  4. Prepare for a cancellation – Regulations can and will change at any time. Prepare for this in advance and make sure you know all current regulations for your area. If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s potentially worth paying a little more for free cancellation up to a few days before the event in case things do end up being put behind closed doors or are called off altogether.
  5. Bring food/drink – There are many tracks where food options are now more limited than they were before. Make sure you don’t go hungry or don’t have to wait in a queue too long by bringing some food with you.
  6. Have fun – This was the final point of the original post and is still relevant, enjoy yourself!

With the tracks I’ve currently attended since the start of the pandemic, here are some specific changes I’ve noticed.

Brands Hatch (likely to be the same for all MSV-owned circuits)
Lots of additional signage about social distancing and masks
Hand sanitiser around the toilets
NHS COVID-19 App check-in signs
One way systems in place at the grandstands and asking for a gap between households
Masks in indoor areas
Paddocks closed to the public

Castle Combe
Some additional signage about masks
Hand sanitiser around the toilets
Masks in indoor areas
Paddock closed to the public
Can no longer walk the full circuit, the public are not allowed in the areas near the pit straight between Camp and Quarry

Hand sanitiser around the toilets and at circuit entrance
Masks in indoor areas
Toilets have one in, one out system at busier times
Some additional signage about masks and social distancing
Paddock remains open to the public, or at least it was open for Thruxton Historic

I am planning on attending more races in the coming months so some changes may be made to this guide and I may also make some additional track-specific guides on top of that.

About JackStatMan

The F1StatMan, mostly known for coming up with useless F1 related stats about burgers.

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