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Tickford, Erebus ready to restart Supercars season

Simon Chapman

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Wednesday 22nd April, 2020 - 6:00am

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Tickford Racing and Erebus Motorsport could get their cars ready to race in days

Tickford Racing and Erebus Motorsport could have their cars ready to restart the Supercars season with a weeks notice.

However, when the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will restart remains unclear with the season currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So far the Tyrepower Tasmania Super400, ITM Auckland Super400, and Pirtek Perth SuperNight have all been postponed.

There are also concerns the Winton Super400 will be postponed and Supercars has until mid-May to confirm the fate of the Townsville 400.

Supercars has yet to announce a revised calendar as it awaits Government guidance and lessening of border restrictions.

That has meant the majority of teams have had staff take annual leave or run their operations at reduced capacity.

The last time Supercars appeared on track was at the ill-fated Melbourne 400, which ran for just one day.

Supercars completed four sessions on Thursday but rolled out of the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit only a day later when the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix was called off.

Having had their four-car fleet arrive back at the workshop ready to go on track, Tickford Racing team principal Tim Edwards said it wouldn’t take much to get them set-up for a different circuit.

“Depending on where we’re going, we might have to change the drop gear ratio, but apart from that, the car is completely fresh, as is everybody’s,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.

“So all the cars are sitting there ready to go, so we don’t need much notice and we can be on the road.”

Also based out of Melbourne, Erebus Motorsport wouldn’t need much time to get ready either according to team boss Barry Ryan.

“As long as we’ve got people still employed, give us a week and we’d be ready to go,” said Ryan.

“The cars are already prepared to do a qualifying session at (Melbourne).

“Nobody has crashed or had any issues since then so they’re basically ready to roll back into the truck and ready to go.”

While Ryan said they could be ready to race within days, he’s not optimistic that the season will restart as soon as he’d like.

The team boss said it could be ‘three to six months’ before the championship gets going again.

“I don’t think there’s any vision of when it’s going to happen,” he said of a season restart.

“We’ve just got to keep hoping that we can get to a point in July or August where we can go ‘alright, we can maybe do three rounds with no crowd’ and then look at introducing the crowd at some point.

“Our country is tracking along really well compared to other countries, but it’s only going to take another stupid cruise ship and people being let off, or a bunch of reckless people doing something where they transmit the virus really quickly.

“It’s happened in Tasmania, two people have shut down the whole west side of Tasmania from what I gather. The next month or so is going to be really interesting to see what we’re going to be able to do with racing and events.”

In the meantime, Tickford Racing is using the period to carry out maintenance on its workshop.

“There’s a skeleton crew doing jobs around the factory, but other than that, 90 percent of the workforce are either working from home or on forced leave,” said Edwards.

“We’ve got a skeleton staff there just doing some of the maintenance jobs around the factory that we sort of had planned over the balance of this year.

“And quite a few of those would have required external contractors to come in and do it. So it’s been a good saving for us that we’ve been able to get in and do it ourselves.

“We’ve actually got a qualified builder amongst our team, so he’s sort of taken the lead and he’s got a crew of lackeys working for him, doing the work. It’s been good.

“So at least all those things are done, so by the time we turn the lights back on, so to speak, ready to go racing again, all of those jobs around the facility will be done.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is currently scheduled to return on June 5-7 at Winton Motor Raceway.

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