The club circuit racing season was due to begin with two events at Silverstone this weekend but governing body Motorsport UK says these, and all events for the rest of March and April, will no longer take place as planned.

Motorsport UK has been in direct contact with the UK government in recent days about the impact of the escalating health crisis on running motorsport events.

Following recent guidance from the government, which included social-distancing measures, discouraging all but essential travel and soon preventing mass gatherings that involve emergency workers taking place, Motorsport UK has decided to suspend all event permits.

Motorsport UK chairman David Richards said: "Clearly we live in challenging times and exceptional measures are required.

"The decision to suspend Motorsport UK permits on a temporary basis is not one that was taken lightly as the industry employs many thousands of people.

"However we have an over-riding responsibility to our members and the friends and families of our community.

"Furthermore, our social responsibilities extend to the broader population and the potential drain on valuable public health resources on which we are all reliant.

"The situation is very fluid and we will continue to monitor developments over the coming weeks and hope that we can resume the annual motorsport calendar at the opportune moment.

"In the immediate short term our efforts need to be focused on ensuring that the industry that backs up the sport has the financial support that it requires from the Government in order that it can be sustained beyond this extraordinary scenario."