Motorsport

Army Motorcycle Racers Glove-Up After Coronavirus Lockdown

Team members were given the green light on the track in Lincolnshire after months of inactivity due to COVID-19.

Army motorcycle racers have come together for the first time in months as the sport emerges from the coronavirus lockdown.

Around 20 competitors from the endurance and sprint teams gathered on the track at Blyton Park in Lincolnshire to blow away the cobwebs.

The track day provided a chance for riders to regroup, after working with the Army Sport Control Board to meet strict safety regulations.

Sergeant Richard Spencer-Fleet, who has been taking part in the British Superbike Championship, said he hoped the day would build "team cohesion" within the military motorsport community.

Serving and former personnel, family and friends were also at the informal event, and Sgt Spencer-Fleet said he was hoping to "poach some more riders for the coming year".

Army riders came together as a team for the first time in months after the coronavirus outbreak paused military sport.

Corporal Tom Cunningham attended last year's track day as a rookie and has since been selected to represent the Army.

"The guys are bringing me on in leaps and bounds in terms of my speed and ability," he said. "It's a testament to how quick the turnaround is."

Captain 'Pep' Brown, Army team secretary, said working to resume the sport in the midst of a pandemic had been "a long road".

"We kind of missed the first gate-opening, I suppose, for sports back in early June," he said.

Failed restart bids were returned with constructive feedback by the control board, which Capt Brown credits with the green light.

"If I'm honest, we're kind of setting the standard now for the rest of motorsports," he said.

Riders will look forward to what remains of the season, while Army Sport continues to keep a close eye on safety.