Drag racing across the globe took a big hit last year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with events being canceled in droves. The new year has allowed for racing to start back up to some degree, but there are still many events globally that are being called off. The FIA has announced that its events at Tierp Arena in Sweden and Santa Pod Raceway in England won’t be held due to COVID restrictions.
The FIA European Drag Racing Championship is a six-race series that gives racers in Europe the biggest of stages to race on. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire 2020 season and also claimed more than half of the 2021 campaign. Racers were hopeful they would get at least two rounds in for the FIA championship, but that opportunity appears to have evaporated.
Keith Barlett, Chairman of Drag Racing Europe, stated in a press release that the COVID restrictions would make it impossible to hold events for a championship series.
“After many months of delay and uncertainty on a final decision regarding the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship events at the Tierp Arena (Sweden) in August and Santa Pod Raceway (UK) in September, we have, along with the FIA, reached a decision that even a two-round FIA Shootout Cup will not be possible to hold, owing to the COVID-19 restrictions with travel and quarantine regulations.”
All isn’t lost for the racers of Europe; both Tierp Arena and Santa Pod Raceway will still hold races on the original dates scheduled for the FIA European Drag Racing Championship events. These races will be contested under ASN national rules, so they will be considered national events by the FIA.
The FIA is already looking forward to 2022 and is putting the pieces into place for a big season when things return to normal.
“DRE will now concentrate on setting up the 2022 FIA European Drag Racing Championship, which we all hope will be campaigned over six rounds. Additionally, the management of DRE is discussing with the FIM to bring the FIM European Drag Bike Championship alongside the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at all rounds in 2022,” Barlett states.