The 2017 British GT Champion Rick Parfitt Jnr has claimed this is the most difficult time to be a racing driver due to the economic effects of the Coronavirus, deeply affecting sponsorship.
The Rock Star and successful race driver said in an interview with the BGTF podcast that the economic downfall has meant that companies are less willing to sponsor motorsport which in turn affects drivers who rely on sponsorship to fund their careers to race.
“I think for people such as me who rely on sponsorship for racing, this is the most difficult time in the world cause there are very few companies who are will be putting in money for sponsoring race cars so for me racing would definitely out,” he said.
While noting that fallout from the Pandemic had made life easier for wealthy amateurs and pay drivers, young up and coming drivers would struggle to progress.
“It has given light to better deals and individuals who are very successful in business are able to indulge in their passion more cost effectively.
“Unfortunately drivers who rely on sponsorship will be sidelined and GT racing especially will be made of wealthy individuals, paid drivers and factory drivers.
“That’s great on the one hand, but it also sad on the other and in motorsport in general, as up and coming drivers who rely on sponsorship will struggle to get drives.
“It’ll be a tough time for motorsport in general while we wait for the world and the economy to heal and potentially companies will put marketing budgets back towards motorsport.“
While Parfitt had planned to sit out the 2020 season in order to recover from an emergency major bowel surgery, the severe battering the music business has taken due to lockdown measures has effectively ended any chance he had of racing this year.
“Its a very scary time for everyone involved in the music business as no one knows where the world’s gonna be,” he said.
“So for this year I am taking the year off, taking my health back in check and come 2021 we’ll be back stronger.”
The aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic has severely affected the British GT field with several top entries pulling out, citing sponsorship reasons and the inability to raise the required budget to compete effectively in a high competitive field.
In the same interview, Parfitt revealed his desire to tackle historic racing in the future, after falling in love with the category when his band headlined the concert at the Silverstone Classic.
“I am deeply, deeply in love with the Silverstone Classic, the cars are so amazing and they sound incredible,” he said.
“I would love to go into it, I think its incredible that people keep these wonderful cars running and to have something like that it just gives me goosebumps.
“Its proper racing, no-one holds back.”