Coronavirus: ‘We’re remaining positive’ – Witches boss Chris Louis as season is suspended due to pandemic
PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 17 March 2020
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis has said his team and his sport is remaining positive, despite the season having been suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
British Speedway has been suspended until Wednesday, April 15, when the situation will be reviewed again.
The Witches were set to commence their 2020 campaign next Thursday, away at Peterborough but now, like so many sports, the future is uncertain.
“We will remain positive about it all,” Louis said.
“There has been a great deal of positivity around the Witches team this season. And the whole team is here in the country and ready to race. Hopefully it will be just a short suspension and then we can get going.
“It’s a very difficult time and there is a lot of uncertainty, not just in speedway but in all sports and entertainment.
“Speedway is in the same position of all other sports and will be guided by the Government. It’s a tough time for the speedway business as it is for many other businesses.”
The season did actually get underway last weekend with an individual meeting, the Ben Fund Bonanza, at Scunthorpe, which raises money for injured riders. It was a meeting won by Witches skipper Danny King.
Like everyone else, King is frustrated by the suspension.
“You spend all the winter spending money to get your bikes and machinery ready and then you look forward to start earning money, which is now not happening,” he said.
“Of course there are more important things to worry about, like health, than just speedway. But we hope to get going as soon as possible.
“Speedway clubs don’t have the same backing as top football clubs, so it will be tough for the sport as a whole.
“All we can hope is that it really is a short suspension and we can get going.”
Speedway, like cricket, is about to commence its season and while a month or so won’t be hugely damaging for the sport, a longer term suspension could have serious repercussions for some clubs.
Currently, Thursday, April 16 would be the Witches first meeting of the year, should the suspension be lifted the day before.
Meanwhile, the Autocycle Union have issued a statement that ALL ACU organised off road motorcycle events are cancelled in the UK until the end of April, when the situation will be reviewed again.
This includes motocross, enduros, trials and grasstrack racing.
They have also cancelled the Isle of Man TT races for this year.