PHILADELPHIA, PA – March 21, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –
For all of us, One Lap has always been a family, a reunion, a once-a-year gathering of friends silly enough to think driving 3500-miles in a week is a vacation. I took over the event in 2009 as I, like most veterans, couldn’t imagine a May without a trip starting in South Bend. Each year, friendships are renewed, or made for the first time and the bonds are enduring. We share our love of driving, the beauty of America, racing and cars for a week and then plan for the next.
Part of the responsibility of managing an event like this is knowing when not to run.
We are in the beginning stages of a massive pandemic. Most of country is in some form of self-quarantine, travel is constrained, if not nearly impossible, non-essential commerce is shutting and the cases of infection continue to increase. As the infections are not forecast to peak until late June or July and no significant reduction until much later, there is no way to run One Lap this year and insulate our entrants from possible infection. This is not a situation I, or anyone else, should underestimate. This will get worse and running the event this year would put many in jeopardy, healthy or not, and I cannot let that happen.
One Lap will be postponed until May 1st, 2021.
We’ve had a good uninterrupted run for 37 years. The only time we ever talked about cancelling the event was when Brock found out that my daughter was due just before the start of the 2005 event. As an excited expectant grandfather, he was willing to forego the running so I could be at the birth. Thankfully Leda, now 15 was born, 6 days before the start.
We are in new territory with this postponement. There is nothing in the rules covering such a scenario but I think I’ve come up with a solution that will work. Perhaps not well, or perfect but as fair as I can make it with everyone’s concerns in mind.
I am freezing the entry list and schedule. Everyone on the list right now is on the list for 2021. The schedule will be the same, just a year later.
We saw unprecedented interest in One Lap this year with over 150 teams signed up, over 85 confirmed and 50 at one point on the wait list. Starting over with a new sign-up in August didn’t seem fair to those already signed up and ready to go in a few weeks. This decision also protects the viability of the event. Canceling and starting over would require refunds. Based on the money paid to tracks, for supplies, merchandise, new timing equipment and other expenses, that would be difficult. If a team requires a refund, I will be happy to provide it, less my expenses, but their entry for 2021 is removed. They are welcome to reapply but at the back of the list. Obviously, I am willing to review this rule on a case by case basis but the health the event is primary.
I have chosen not to ask the tracks already paid for a refund as like Cannonball Circuit, LLC most are small businesses already whacked by cancellations. The route this year was well received and I was very pleased with it, so running it next year seemed to be the best solution for everyone. Our sponsors have also pledged their support throughout the decision making process, assuring us that they will be there when we need them. We encourage you to continue to patronize them as they are sure to be affected by global events.
The only good news I have is for those that are on the list, your entry fee will stay $3000. Next year we will move all the registrations to Motorsport Reg for ease and security but I was raising the entry fee for the first time since 2009. Anyone on the list now, official or wait, is grandfathered in at the old rate.
This is not a decision I take lightly but these are difficult times that require proper respect for what may be coming. Ignoring the warnings of the health professionals will lead to needless suffering or worse. If we can do the right things now, we’ll be able to return to normal activities sooner, but not soon enough to salvage an event this year.
Thank you for your support and friendship without which I couldn’t run this event. With your help, and a little patience, we’ll be back on the highways and racetracks soon enough.
Source: Cannonball Circuits, LLC