2020 Motorsport Season Review
The obvious place to start when reviewing the 2020 motorsport season is when Lockdown began back in March. No one could foresee how the year would pan out. Life as we knew it was put on hold and the immediate uncertainty of what lay ahead was, daunting. The nation, and the indeed the globe, had not seen such disruption to everyday life since the Second World War. Naturally many questions and concerns aired over the security of jobs, livelihoods and our economy. Lower on that list were questions from the devoted few, for whom cars and motorsport plays a big part of their lives.
In our own market of collectable cars and luxury assets, we prepared for a difficult remainder of the year. Dealers closed, motorsport paused and events were put on hold. As a result, we predicted that we would see a wave of equity release. Owners wishing to unlock equity from assets they already owned in order to remain liquid through the uncertainty. This did materialise in those early months but tailed off as we approached the easing of restrictions in July.
At the same time the traveling circus of Formula 1 demonstrated its resilience and logistical might to overcome global travel restrictions and the safeguard of all its crew and competitors by beginning the delayed season in Austria. This paved the way for others and just weeks later we witnessed the return of British Touring Cars, European GT racing and Peter Auto events such as Tour Auto and the wonderful 2 Litre Cup.
Collector Car Market
As dealers and businesses re-opened we experienced something that we hadn’t predicted. An unprecedented wave of activity in the market across all areas from classic cars to modern GT racers followed. This wasn’t owners selling off their assets to ease cashflow or exit the market quickly prior to an anticipated crash. This was the start of a flurry of buying.
‘Speculative’ was the phrase used as many thought now may be the time to grab a bargain from a distressed or desperate dealer. The market soon realised the appetite was real and that the industry was in a healthy position. Despite the fact we were mid-pandemic. In fact the marker was so healthy many specialist dealers have reported a record year of trading and we have seen as many enquiries this year as any other.
When trying to draw conclusions as to why the collector car market performed so well, many have theorised. After much conversation and deliberation, we have drawn one majority outcome – boredom. With little to do and nowhere to go, we believe that people soon began trawling the internet, lusting over previous (car) loves or dreaming of winding roads. This created a level of demand in the market that began in June and has yet to show signs of slowing.
Later in the Season
As the summer continued and restrictions eased, more good news arrived for the 2020 motorsport season. The first public motoring event, The London Concours, was back on the calendar – a brave decision but well executed and the impetus for others to follow suit. Salon Prive, Concours of Elegance, club gatherings and a one-off meeting at Glorious Goodwood was staged to replace its usual trio of events. Even the greatest race in world, 24 Heures du Mans, manged to hold its 88th race. Competitors came from all over the world to Circuit Le Sarthe. I know we are now hungrier than ever for more. As the nights draw in and a fragmented racing season draws to a close the cloud of further lockdowns now hangs over us.
This time around it is a different scenario as many stay at work and businesses discover new ways to operate. However, it still creates a level of uncertainty – do we retreat or do we push on? In these early stages, we have seen little to no difference in activity. Clients still pursue new acquisitions and race teams are preparing for (fingers crossed) a full season next year.
A small uptake in capital release has been noted as some ensure they remain liquid over the winter months. But now we have a clearer picture of how we can operate in these times. As positive news of a vaccine is reported, many are feeling good and are excited for next year.
2021 and Beyond
Our predictions for 2021 are clear, the motoring world will be out in force looking to make up for lost time and make the most of the opportunities presented to them – we certainly will be. We encourage you to do the same and can help you do so. Just get in touch.
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