Grassroots Australian motorsport to resume this week
By Mat Coch
Thursday 14th May, 2020 - 3:31pm
Motorsport Australia has issued a state-by-state breakdown outlining that grassroots motorsport in Australia can resume as soon as this week.
It follows hot on the heels of Monday’s publication of the ‘Return To Race’ document which outlines how competition can resume as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
According to the state-by-state breakdown, that could see competitive motorsport return this week.
First among them is South Australia which, according to Motorsport Australia, has been able to run grassroots competition from May 11.
“From 11 May, any sport may recommence, provided that it is outdoors, has a maximum of 10 participants in any one group and be non-contact,” Motorsport Australia’s website details.
“Motorsport status: Small, grassroots motorsport events may be permitted by Motorsport Australia from 11 May, assuming they can comply with the Return To Race strategy.”
From yesterday (May 13), competition in Victoria was able to resume, while New South Wales and Northern Territory will be able to do so tomorrow.
Western Australia is set to allow competition from May 18, still at grassroots level.
Both Queensland and Tasmania currently prohibit competition, though Queensland Raceway has this week opened up for professional operations to perform limited testing.
Since the release of the ‘Return To Race’ document on Monday, Motorsport Australia CEO, Eugene Arocca, has remained in frequent contact with governments.
“We are doing everything we can to stay up to date with the latest restrictions and also provide state, territory and federal governments with as much information about the plans for our sport, including discussing our Return To Race strategy,” Arocca said.
“Each state and territory is doing things differently and we are making sure that we are across those differences to determine what motorsport events we can sanction and how our event organisers and clubs can meet their required obligations for running any events in the future.
“As we’ve outlined to the various representatives, and highlighted in our Return To Race strategy, motorsport is unlike many other sports.
“We are getting feedback from the various government representatives that they understand our situation and appreciate the information we have provided.
“They have also been impressed by the standard of our Return To Race document and the level of detail we have gone into.
“We believe this will help facilitate a return to action in the short term.”
However, Arocca believes for racing to return at national or even state level exemptions would likely need to be made for the sport.
“Like many major sporting codes, there are going to need to be exemptions for the larger motorsport events to proceed,” he reasoned.
“We believe these events, such as our state and national level events, can go ahead safely, without spectators and do so with limited risk based on the guidelines we have in place.”