The opening round of the 2020 TCR Australia and S5000 seasons has been postponed again due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.
This is the second time the Sydney Motorsport Park event, which would have also been the opening round of the Motorsport Australia Championships, has been postponed thanks to the Melbourne outbreak.
It was originally meant to take place in mid-August, before being moved to the first weekend in September after the Victorian/New South Wales border was closed in early June.
With the Melbourne crisis showing no signs of slowing down, with a pandemic-high 723 new cases on Thursday, and New South Wales on its own coronavirus knife-edge, Motorsport Australia and Australian Racing Group has opted to postpone both the SMP opener and second round at Sandown.
A revised calendar will be unveiled in the coming weeks, with mid-October now the target for the series to kick off.
“We are understandably disappointed that we could not get the opening round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships underway in September, however we’ve been working closely with state governments and all our categories and circuit managers to ensure we can be flexible and adaptable, given the changing COVID-19 circumstances,” said Motorsport Australia Championship director Michael Smith.
“We’re very confident we can maximise the number of rounds held in line with the requests from our categories and the availability of circuits around the country.
“We think an October start date is realistic given the current climate and are working on a number of contingencies to maximise the opportunities for racing in the latter half of 2020.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support and understanding, including our sponsors, categories, competitors, teams and circuit managers who have all been terrific to deal with and very understanding of the fluid situation we’ve been presented with.”
ARG boss Matt Braid added: “It is disappointing to be in this position, however, it is the reality of the current environment.
“Despite the difficulties, our stakeholders remain positive. Our broadcast partner Network Seven is very supportive, and our competitors and sponsors are understanding of the situation and are all looking forward to going racing.
“ARG is working closely with Motorsport Australia and remaining focused on establishing a strong calendar for 2020, including a blockbuster Bathurst International event at Mount Panorama in November.”
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