Next week, the world driving championships four in hand are scheduled to start in Valkenswaard (NED) on the grounds of Boyd Exell. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that the local government’s safety board has not issued a permit. The organisation’s spokeswoman indicates that they did.
After contact with the safety board, it appears that no permit has been issued. A member of staff says; “I have also been hearing and reading the messages from other authorities and people about the world driving championships four in hand event. At the moment, no permit has been issued and it is very doubtful whether it will be forthcoming. Those responsible are still in deliberation.”
The Dutch team consisting of IJsbrand Chardon, Bram Chardon and Koos de Ronde were also informed the day before. De Ronde says; “It is very confusing but I think one thing is clear; you cannot organise a world championships without a permit. I don’t like it, I think there is a task for the sports federation to outline as clear a situation as possible for the safety board. Actually, it is not possible under the current conditions.”
“In the plainest terms, the current rules do not allow it,” says de Ronde to De Telegraaf. “The competitions themselves are no problem. But you stay with your whole team on the field. You can be in a room with a maximum of four people. How could a team consisting of 10 to 14 people be accommodated together?” Our German colleagues have to do a Covid-19 test beforehand. IJsbrand Chardon says; “I am not eager to participate in a world championship like this. Thursday morning the national coach (Ad Aarts) assures me that everything is ready and that we need to focus on the competition. Barely half a day later, a journalist calls to say that there is no permit. That is quite deceptive.”
Magda Coppoolse, the spokeswoman of the world championship organisation, is very surprised. According to her, the permit has already been obtained for a long time and the world championship will take place next week. She says to De Telegraaf: “We had immediately decided, when it was allocated to us, not to allow an audience. We have very short lines of communication with the municipality and there is constant consultation as to whether safety conditions can be met. The chairman of the board and our Covid-19 coordinator are in direct contact with those responsible. The world championship will take place next week.”
Photo by Hippo Foto