The opening round of the TCR Australia and S5000 seasons has been postponed again due to the latest coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne.
The two categories were set to finally kick their 2020 seasons off at the opening Motorsport Australia Championships event of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park in mid-August.
However, with Melbourne back in lockdown and teams based in Victoria unable to cross the New South Wales border for the foreseeable future, Motorsport Australia and Australian Racing Group has elected to push the opener back.
It’s now scheduled to take place on September 4-6, with hopes from organisers that will be enough time for the Melbourne outbreak to be brought under control and the NSW border to reopen.
There will likely be a knock-on effect for the Sandown round too, which was set to take place on September 11-13. However a change to that date is yet to be formally confirmed.
Touring Car Masters, Trans Am and the Motorsport Australia GT Championship are set to join TCR and S5000 for the revised September SMP meeting.
“We were hoping that the August date would be possible, however with a large number of teams Victorian based and unable to travel freely between New South Wales and Victoria, we felt the only option was for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships to take place on the first weekend in September,” said Motorsport Australia Championships director Michael Smith.
“Opening our season at Sydney Motorsport Park is certainly an exciting prospect and we know that this new date will be upon us very soon. Ultimately, we all want to go racing as soon as we can.
“We know this year is one that is very fluid and we are greatly appreciative of the support of all our categories and circuit managers for their flexibility and understanding.
“This new Sydney date may mean that we have to change dates for future rounds, however together with the team at Australian Racing Group, we will provide updated information as soon as we are able to.”
ARG boss Matt Braid added: “The current coronavirus crisis is unprecedented and we have to remain flexible in how we adapt to the ongoing impact on our return to race plan,” Braid said.
“As we’ve seen the situation in Victoria develop over the past few days, and considering the many affected teams, moving the date back was the best outcome for all.
“We’re excited that we have a new date for Sydney and working hard to get the clearest possible direction for our categories.”
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