A CHESHIRE racetrack has hit out at the Government's continued Covid restrictions for motor racing circuits which limit the number of spectators to less than half that permitted at Premier League stadiums.

As a result of the four-week extension to the current Covid restrictions, now due to last until at least July 19, motor racing circuits across the UK will only be allowed to have up to 4,000 spectators in attendance, although it is expected an exception will be made for the Formula One British Grand Prix in July.

But for Oulton Park, in Little Budworth, Tarporley, it means only 4,000 spectators maximum will be allowed to go to one of its flagship events on June 27, the British Superbike Championship. More than 4,000 tickets had already been sold for raceday, meaning those who had booked more recently are to be offered full refunds or the chance to attend qualifying on Saturday instead.

In previous years, there has been a capacity crowd for British Superbike and British Touring Car Championship events at the picturesque racetrack, with up to 40,000 spectators cheering on their motorsport heroes.

Now Oulton Park, which is managed by circuit operator Motorsport Vision (MSV), has issued a statement saying it had been lobbying the Government along with horse racing and golf venues to raise the capacity to be in line with that permitted at Premier League grounds, where 10,000 spectators have been permitted to attend.

It said: "Further to our statement last night on the upcoming Bennetts BSB event at Oulton Park (25-27 June), we can confirm that Sunday is now limited to 4,000 spectators and is therefore sold out.

"Whilst we hoped that spectator limits would be lifted on 21 June if Step 4 proceeded, we have in the meantime been lobbying government, alongside horse racing and golf, to increase our Step 3 capacity so that we have parity with seated venues.

"Stadiums are currently permitted up to 10,000 spectators despite far more use of public transport, people arriving and leaving at broadly the same time and higher densities in stairwells and entrances.

"Motor racing circuits by contrast have hundreds of acres of outdoors space allowing spectators to be distributed over large areas with ample room for social distancing. There is no justification for this differentiation in approach.

"Unfortunately, there has been no change to the guidance (indeed, we have yet to receive any formal response from the government), so we must enforce the existing Step 3 limits.

"The great majority of admission tickets will remain valid, including all orders carried over from 2020, however some Sunday ticket purchasers (those that have booked more recently) will be contacted later this week and offered the chance to swap their ticket to Saturday or to receive a full refund.

"Friday and Saturday tickets will be put back on sale as soon as possible. Season and resident pass holders will be required to pre-register online to let us know whether they’re attending – we will share details of this by email, and on the ticket page itself.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding."