UK crews hit by Le Mans Covid new protocols

FIM Sidecar World Championship

A last-minute change of direction in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the French authorities placing Great Britain under stricter rules for incoming travellers. (The rules still changing daily so no guarantees)

Effective Tuesday June 1st all visitors from the UK must have a negative PCR test before travelling to France, and then be subjected to seven days quarantine and isolation in that country before going about their business. Of the six British crews entered for Le Mans next week, only three could conform to that tight schedule.

Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau were already in Holland and will make their way direct. Todd Ellis and Steve Kershaw will make the journey separately, but with revised and scaled-down arrangements.

Kershaw’s passenger Ryan Charlwood was already in France, and Todd Ellis will be using the experienced Emmanuelle Clement as his passenger. Her 2021 driver Benny Streuer is still recovering from injury and had not entered the event anyway.

A special quarantine arrangement is under negotiation which will involve the Bugatti Circuit becoming an “isolation bubble” so that the teams can serve their seven days on-site.

This has yet to be signed off by the French Health Ministry, although the circuit is geared up and keen for this to happen. The same rules will therefore apply to the Santander Salt organisational team headed by Roger Body, along with the race truck and hospitality unit. These too will need to leave in good time to spend seven days at the circuit.

The restrictions and immediacy of the initial timeframe had originally proved too onerous for Kevin Cable, Rob Biggs and John Holden. They were forced to abandon plans to be at the opening round, but it is still possible they will now adjust their plans to travel to the event.

This is a hard pill to swallow for many, but as we have maintained throughout this difficult time, we can only plan and hope the world comes out of this sooner rather than later, whilst always remembering those who have been far less fortunate.

We will be staying across all the action from Le Mans remotely, bringing you the news items and results as they become available.

Media Matters – Barry Nutley