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SMP moots spectator ‘park-and-view’ for Supercars return

Simon Chapman

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Saturday 16th May, 2020 - 8:00am

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Sydney Motorsport Park pic: Apex Circuit Design

Spectators could attend the first Supercars event at Sydney Motorsport Park through a self-isolation ‘park-and-view’ concept if circuit bosses can convince the Government.

Sydney Motorsport Park is set to host the first round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship when it resumes on June 27-28.

As it stands, the television-only event is to be run without spectators.

Australian Racing Drivers’ Club CEO Glenn Matthews said he’ll lobby Supercars and the New South Wales Government to let spectators into the circuit to watch if they can stay in their cars.

The perimeter of the nearly 4.0 km long Gardner Circuit can facilitate cars parked on an embankment.

The concept has been trialled before, with one part of the circuit between Turn 3 and Turn 5 (pictured above) able to fit up to 400 cars.

“Everyone is geared up for no spectators, but we believe that we could actually do a drive-in park-and-view,” Matthews told Speedcafe.com.

“A bit like going to a drive-in cinema. We’re actually going to approach the Government and relevant parties and continue to work with them.

“It’s not until the end of June, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be possible of having park-and-view facilities there so people remain self-isolated within their cars and watch the race track-side.

“I think we can offer the best of both worlds.”

The first round of the championship since the coronavirus pandemic began will be run without support categories either.

Matthews believes spectators could drive to the circuit, stay in their cars for a few hours, and leave without the worry of COVID-19 and still see the racing.

“We think being safe and having people in their cars, we can certainly follow all the rules in terms of social distancing and hygiene,” said Matthews.

“We think it’s a possibility that we could have some spectators there and that’s something we’ll approach the relevant bodies to get approval for.

“It’s something I’ve mentioned to Sean. We’re keen for everyone to keep an open mind and see what’s possible.

“(Spectators) don’t have to be for eight or nine hours, they can just get there for the race, arrive, watch, go.”

This year’s event at Sydney Motorsport Park is set to take place on June 28-29 with race formats still to be confirmed.

A revised Virgin Australia Supercars Championship calendar is set to be released on May 17 at 6:00 AEST.

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