The Supercars Championship has joined a growing list of motorsport series impacted by the COVID-19 Cornavirus pandemic.
Following the forced cancellation of its four support races at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, series management has today announced that the next three rounds on the calendar – the Tasmania SuperSprint, Auckland SuperSprint and Perth SuperNight events – have been postponed.
Rather than run these events as spectator-free races on their original dates, Supercars will instead attempt to find suitable slots later in the year to reschedule them in order to deliver a complete 14-round series.
“We have been working diligently to assess all available options to ensure continuity of the series,” he is quoted as saying in a statement issued by Supercars this morning.
“Obviously, the situation is evolving, but we acknowledge the need to act decisively with the information we have at hand.
“Our sport is a visceral experience and rather than run without crowds, we have decided, along with our key broadcast and government partners, to delay any further racing until June.
“Tasmania, Auckland and Perth events will all be postponed until later in the year, not cancelled.
“Fortunately, our calendar this year enables us to do this.
“Supercars’ priority is to deliver the 14 round 2020 championship for our fans and partners, irrespective of the dates. Bathurst will obviously proceed on its scheduled date. We have a plan for how we can make that happen and will begin discussions with all of our stakeholders over the coming days to lock this in.
“We anticipate that we will be able to formalise and communicate this plan within the next few weeks.”
The plan is for racing action to resume in June with the Winton SuperSprint round. In the interim, the teams will be prohibited from conducting any testing to curb any unnecessary spending.
Teams and drivers are instead being encouraged to take part in a sim racing series that will be launched, while a Drive to Survive style documentary series focused on the Erebus Motorsport team will also be put to air.
“We are unique and fortunate in that we are able to simulate our racing via eSports,” Seamer added.
“So, between now and late June, Supercars will host, via Twitch, Fox Sports and Kayo, an Eseries Championship where fans will get to see our stars battle it out in a virtual world while we wait to go racing again for real.
“Our new annual behind the scenes Docuseries, The Inside Line – A Season with Erebus Motorsport, will ensure that, in conjunction with our eSeries, Supercars and its stars stay in our fans’ living rooms over the coming days and weeks.
“Eight episodes of this series will be available from March 30th on Foxtel, Fox Sports and Kayo.”
|2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Season Calendar|
|22-23 Feb||Adelaide 500||Adelaide street circuit, SA||SuperStreet|
|Cancelled||Melbourne 400||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, VIC||Int’l SuperSprint|
|Postponed||Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains Raceway, TAS||SuperSprint|
|Postponed||Auckland SuperSprint||Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, NZ||SuperStreet|
|Postponed||Perth SuperNight||Wanneroo Raceway, WA||SuperNight|
|06-07 Jun||Winton SuperSprint||Winton Motor Raceway, VIC||SuperSprint|
|27-28 Jun||Townsville 400||Townsville street circuit, SA||SuperStreet|
|18-19 Jul||Darwin Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway, NT||SuperSprint|
|29-30 Aug||Sydney SuperNight||Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW||SuperNight|
|20 Sep||The Bend 500||The Bend Motorsport Park, SA||Endurance|
|11 Oct||Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama Circuit, NSW||Endurance|
|31-01 Nov||Gold Coast 600||Surfers Paradise street circuit, QLD||Endurance|
|21-22 Nov||Sandown 400||Sandown Raceway, VIC||SuperSprint|
|05-06 Dec||Adelaide 500||Newcastle street circuit, NSW||SuperStreet|
Image via Ignite Image