THE director of events at Knockhill Racing Circuit has described receiving a national award nomination as a “landmark”.
Earlier this month, Press Sport reported that the venue, located north of Dunfermline, had been shortlisted in the Scottish Thistle Awards’ ‘Outstanding Sporting Event’ category.
Knockhill, the only accredited FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and Motorsport UK-approved venue north of the border, has been selected for its hosting of a race weekend in both the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, and the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
They’ll find out if they have progressed to next year’s finals later this year, but Stuart Gray, director of events, said: “I’m thrilled for everyone here, everyone involved.
“The nomination, win or lose, is a landmark for us to have achieved that kind of recognition.
“I think both events have got their own stories to tell. Superbikes didn’t come in 2020 because of travel restrictions, and then, last year, we were allowed 4,000 fans.
“One week before the event, that was reduced to 1,000 because the Scottish Government did not go beyond level zero (COVID-19 restrictions), so we had to inform 3,000 fans, who had made travel plans, who had booked accommodation, who were all coming here, to say, sorry, you can’t come, at one week’s notice.
“It was a governmental decision; it was nothing down to us. That then ran in front of 1,000, with 3,000 disgruntled fans still at home, and we turned it round to our biggest crowd in nine years this year, which is amazing.
“The touring cars did come in 2020 but ran behind closed doors with nobody here. Last year, it was only a matter of a few weeks after the end of restrictions, and we got a crowd that we were happy with because it ran, and we had a crowd.
“There was still COVID distancing signage everywhere and all that kind of thing, but at least it happened, with a degree of a crowd here.
“We were nominated for that event as well, and there was a really nice quote from Alan Gow (BTCC chief executive) as well in the national press, saying it’s not only a feather in the cap for Knockhill, with everybody involved in delivering the event, it’s a feather in the cap for touring cars as well as to have been recognized by the industry.”