Snapshot Into History: Paddock Problems

Snapshot Into History: Paddock Problems

Today’s Snapshot Into History, sees us go back to the summer of 2018, when paddock problems were afoot for Manx GP competitors.

Local MGP exponents looked set to face alternative paddock arrangements, due to changes to the TT paddock layout for the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.

The proposed paddock layout changes which included racers having to use the St Georges Football ground located day paddock allied to been expected to arrive and leave each day of the two week festival, didn’t go down well with IOM based racers.

An unnamed racer at the time speaking about the situation, stated:

“The Email came as a shock, we obviously need to work from an awning in the main paddock. To transport van loads of bikes and 2 weeks worth of equipment for two riders daily is just not practical.

It means making 4 trips minimum every day to Douglas, leaving little time for machine preparation and repairs, added pressure to what is already a busy and stressful fortnight.

It could affect rider and machine safety. It seems the poor judgement and knowledge of the organisers as to what is involved in preparing to race on the Mountain Course has let us down.”

The Manx Motor Cycle Club in conjunction with the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise, went onto issue the following response around the aforementioned:

“The Manx Motor Cycle Club in discussion with the Department issued an e-mail to all those participating in the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT last week identifying a need to restrict the numbers of people living on-site to team members and immediate family during the Festival of Motorcycling.

In addition the e-mail stated that Isle of Man resident competitors would not be allocated a paddock space and would instead be required to use the day paddock when attending the grandstand area to practice or race to alleviate the capacity issues that have been identified.

Historically it has been the practice to allow significant numbers of people on site, however, there is greater pressure and scrutiny being placed on the operational, infrastructure and safety aspects of the site that cannot be overcome without reducing the number of people and equipment on the site.

Lessons learned from this year’s TT led to this decision being taken; however, in light of responses received, the Department is undertaking a review of all of the options available.

This review does not mean that everyone taking part in the event will be able to be accommodated on-site and it is more than likely that continued restrictions will be placed on the numbers of persons on site and the pitches and pitch sizes available.”

They continued:

“In view of this, the Department would ask that that all participants supply accurate pitch requirement information by the 17th July 2018 at the very latest, as without this, space cannot be allocated and it is highly likely that an on-site pitch will not be available and entry to the paddocks will be refused.

This does not mean that expectations will be met and as such participants may have to look to reduce the numbers of people or size of pitch required and making that decision as to whether you can live with operating from the day paddock or not.

The Department will endeavour to do its best, but there are limits to what is possible. If individual requirements cannot be fulfilled exactly as request then it is highly likely that we may be unable to accommodate these on site.

The Department’s decision on this will be final as the continued viability of the event relies on being able to ensure that the safety of those within the paddocks is not compromised.”

Whilst the Classic TT, Manx GP race action for 2018 proved exhilarating, captivating, the prior showcased news only reinforced certain individuals perspectives, viewpoints on certain topics.

As I’ve stated before, closer ties between the Classic and Manx can only benefit both events.

Hopefully some positive news regarding the meetings respective futures will be revealed soon.

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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