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Supercars investigating TV-only event viability

Simon Chapman

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Monday 30th March, 2020 - 10:51am

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Jamie Whincup pic: Holden Motorsport Twitter

Supercars is working on reducing its personnel footprint in an effort to host television-only events this year, says CEO Sean Seamer.

Earlier this month Seamer suggested Supercars wouldn’t be able to host television-only events as it would likely breach the 500-person Government-mandated limit on outdoor gatherings.

However, speaking on the latest episode of The Loud Pedal podcast, Seamer outlined areas in which the championship is looking to cut numbers.

“It’s an evolving situation and it feels like this has been going on for months but we’re only two weeks into this as it evolves,” said Seamer.

“As I said, we’re focusing on what we can control and that is what the world can look like when we come back racing. One of the key things that we have to work through is estimating when we might see a lessening of restrictions.

“But the big thing that we’re doing to get (the championship) back out on the track is that we’re spending a lot of time to assess what our minimum viable product is. Unlike a lot of other sports, we’ve got quite a lot of people to be able to execute our races.

“If you look at current team sizes, the number of guys working on each car, then you look at the TV crew, you look at the officials, you look at security, just that basic fundamental group pushes us up over 500.

“So the team is working really hard to get that number down so that even if we’re still dealing with a situation where only 500 people are allowed in one place at one time for an outdoor gathering that we are able to cross borders that we can get going with the TV-only product as soon as possible.”

Supercars is currently working through calendar revisions as it looks to reschedule postponed events in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth.

A replacement event for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is also being looked at.

Seamer said a reshuffled Supercars calendar is likely to see races take place during the period when the cancelled Tokyo Summer Olympics had been scheduled.

“The first thing that we need to establish is under what conditions could (an event) happen,” said Seamer.

“And that’s exactly why we’re so focussed on getting an event footprint down as low as possible so we can go TV-only.

“We’re obviously fortunate in that our calendar was first of all quite spaced out when we started the year,” he added.

“We had a break for the Olympics which (isn’t) happening. We’ve got some flexibility around July, August and September in the lead up to Bathurst that we wouldn’t necessarily have (before).”

Supercars team owner Barry Ryan has expressed a desire to have back-to-back events with a reduced two-day format. Seamer said doing successive rounds is being looked at.

“We have experience from last year around doing back-to-back rounds. I think you’ll remember we did Tasmania into Phillip Island.

“Look for us to go back-to-back, look for us to do whatever we have to do to get this championship away.”

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