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Ryan: Two-day Supercars events could curb COVID-19 cost

Simon Chapman

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Sunday 29th March, 2020 - 6:00am

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David Reynolds pic: Penrite Racing Twitter

Erebus Motorsport co-owner Barry Ryan believes a move to two-day Supercars weekends could keep fans happy and help reduce costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is in the midst of a break due to the virus, which has postponed events in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth. Virus fears also led to the demise of the Melbourne 400.

As the coronavirus pandemic delays motor racing events globally, the team co-owner is conscious of the economic impact the break will have on Supercars and his team.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Ryan said a move to two-day meetings could help curb costs and ensure fans get to see Supercars again.

“Whether it’s two-day race meetings or no pit stops so we don’t take as many people, there are so many scenarios that we can work towards to make sure we are actually racing and make people happy again,” said Ryan.

“If we’re racing every second week or sometimes back-to-back you’ll probably need to cut it back to two-day rounds.

“Reducing workload reduces staff you have to take, that’s how you can cut costs fairly quick. The races won’t suffer, it’s still going to be the same.”

Queensland Raceway owner John Tetley recently mooted the idea of a condensed two-day Supercars event should the championship wish to return to the circuit. However, that circuit and several others have since closed temporarily.

It wouldn’t be the first time the championship has trialled a two-day format. Last year the Winton SuperSprint saw no Friday running for Supercars with a practice/qualifying/race format across Saturday and Sunday.

Supercars is currently slated to resume at Winton Motor Raceway over June 5-7. If that can’t happen, the Townsville 400 on June 26-28 is the following event currently scheduled on the calendar.

Asked about the possibility of stretching the calendar into the new year, Ryan said it is possible but potential sponsorship complications may not allow that to happen.

However, his hope is that the championship can be finished by the end of 2020.

“Yeah I think that’s been a bit of the chat,” Ryan said of suggestions the championship could spill into 2021.

“If it was up to me and we couldn’t start racing until September then we’d race every weekend if we need to, just get it done.

“Everybody is going to have a lot of time at home not doing strenuous stuff, so if we have to race 14 weekends in a row let’s do it, bring it on.

“If it had to go into January next year, who really cares, just join the two years together. It’s easy to say that, but commercially it might not be that practical.

“We’ll all be rubbing each other’s backs once we’re out of this and doing what we can.”

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