BOSSES at Knochill Racing Circuit have said they are "bitterly disappointed" that there will be no crowd at the British Touring Car Championship.

West Fife's iconic motorsport venue will host the fourth race weekend of the competition this Saturday and Sunday for its only visit north of the border, but it will take place behind closed doors.

Last month, officials at the venue announced that they had lodged a request with both the Scottish Government and sportscotland for rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the BTCC to be approved as a test event.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced that it was hoped a limited re-opening of sports stadia could happen from September 14 – a stance that was repeated last Thursday in the Scottish Government's latest three week review of its route-map out of lockdown.

They also noted that, from Monday August 24, some outdoor live events, involving open space or organised seating, with physical distancing and restricted numbers, could go ahead.

Scottish Rugby were given the green light to host a test event tomorrow (Friday) between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield, but the brakes have been put on Knockhill's hopes of having their own this weekend.

After receiving confirmation that they could accommodate a maximum of 200 spectators, Knockhill's managing director, Jillian Shedden, explained that the numbers permitted wouldn't be enough to meet the demand of their 600 season pass holders and thousands of fans who had pre-booked tickets.

In confirming on Friday that they had decided to run the event behind closed doors, due to there being no fair way to distribute tickets, she explained: "Like many fans we are bitterly disappointed with today’s news.

"We had put in place an effective plan to manage a limited crowd at the British Touring Car event, commensurate with the size and scale of our 220 acre venue.

"Unfortunately, the number we had planned for didn’t quite match the government’s figure and we’ve taken the decision to host the event without spectators next weekend.

"Although we are disappointed, we must all bear in mind that these rules and regulations are in place for the best reasons – to protect public health.

"I'm sure the Knockhill round will be as spectacular as ever next weekend and I’d urge race fans to tune into ITV4 to watch all the action live."

The 2020 season, featuring Rory Butcher, whose dad, Derek, is the owner and CEO of Knockhill, had been due to begin in March but, due to the pandemic, was postponed until the beginning of August.

A revised, 27-race calendar, which will conclude in November, was agreed and races have already been held at Donnington Park, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.

Race fans can watch this weekend's action live on ITV4.