Could the 2020 Isle of Man TT still happen on a smaller scale?

A smaller scale Isle of Man TT event could still take place in August in an effort to recoup earnings lost by not holding the rosd race in June

Isle of Man TT

An alternative ‘scaled down’ version of the Isle of Man TT could potentially still take place in 2020 if the pressures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic ease by August.

Last month it was announced the iconic road race would not be taking place this year as planned in June with the Manx Government citing a duty of care to the people living on the island not to put them at risk of the COVID-19 virus from an influx of international visitors.

Prior to the cancellation, discussions had taken place about rescheduling the event for August in the timeframe reserved for the Classic TT before the decision was taken to avoid uncertainty by axing it altogether.

However, a report by the Independent suggests there is still hope the event could still happen in 2020 as a small event if by August motorsport has returned to some form of normality. 

While it is unlikely to run to the same format as the traditional TT due to short-term fallout from the coronavirus and its impact on both smaller teams and big budget factory entries that may need to consolidate cash amid plummeting sales, it is hoped some form of event would attract enough interest to ease the island’s losses.

Indeed, the Isle of Man stands to miss out on a pay day of £5 million by not holding the TT in June due to the income it generates from visitors, not to mention the impact on small businesses such as shops, pubs and restaurants that would normally be buzzing with patrons at that time of year.

“We know that the impact is far broader than Government income alone,” Laurence Skelly MHK, Isle of Man’s minister for enterprise, said. “We have developed a package of support measures for businesses and individuals affected by the cancellation and are working closely with all businesses and individuals concerned to get this rolled out as quickly as possible.”

Much will depend on how schedules begin to form again once motorsport resumes, with a number of teams and riders committed to other series’ that may need to start clashing dates in order to complete their championships.

This is only the fourth time in the TT's century-old history that the event has been cancelled. Twice during World War II and once in 2001 due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.