Virtual press conferences, electronic driver briefings, and segregation of teams are among the extensive social distancing measures Supercars is set to introduce in the wake of COVID-19.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship resumes at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27-28 where teams and drivers will have to adhere to new restrictions and guidelines.
Speedcafe.com has obtained Supercars’ coronavirus mitigation document, Return to Racing, which outlines a set of key principles teams will have to adhere to.
Fundamentally, the document outlines procedures designed to reduce social interaction and lower the risk amid the ongoing pandemic.
As has already been confirmed, teams will travel via chartered flights from either Brisbane or Melbourne to Sydney.
Travel to and from Sydney Motorsport Park will see team staff travel either by private vehicles, chartered coaches, or by plane.
Applicable social distancing will be mandated regardless of the mode of transport, and if required, will see vacant seats left between passengers to adhere to respective Government guidelines.
All personnel will be required to travel with their own hand sanitiser and detergent wipes to clean surfaces before and after use at the circuit, while travelling, and at their accommodation.
To reduce to possibility of compromising the local community, teams and event staff may stay in the same hotel in a designated part of the facility or on the same floor.
Teams will travel from their accommodation to the circuit by private vehicle or a chartered bus.
At the event, Supercars will work on a “one individual worker per four square metres of area” basis with only essential staff outside of the teams allowed on site.
Individuals will be separated where possible in safety and course cars as well as recovery, fire and ambulance vehicles.
As part of that, personnel will sit in opposite corners of vehicles and individuals will only be in the vehicle when necessary.
Several additional precautions are being considered too, including providing face masks to drivers once their helmet is removed following an incident.
As has already been revealed, teams will be limited to 13 personnel – including drivers – for every two vehicles.
Other than medical personnel, race officials, and scrutineers, none other than those 13 individuals will be allowed in the pit garages.
Team to team contact will be limited as well with barriers or ground markings laid out directing team personnel to from their garages to their transporters.
Team garages will also be separated by dividers and will be kept open to ensure they are well aired. Where possible, indoor facilities will be avoided.
Depending on the circuit, separate toilet facilities will be allocated to teams or group of teams.
During the race weekend, there will be no physical driver briefings. Instead, team-by-team briefings and/or online briefings will be implemented.
Loudspeaker/public address announcements and/or written briefings signed and returned by drivers/teams may be used.
Supercars is also considering the use of messaging services such as WhatsApp, SMS, and email communications to facilitate the move to online briefings.
Protests, appeals or other hearings arising from race activity will be held virtually and not in person.
With no media personnel outside of Supercars’ own production allowed at the circuit, virtual media conferences have been earmarked.
Supercars will keep an accurate record of all individuals entering the circuit during events this year.
That includes at a minimum; full name, contact number, team, role, and the locations within the circuit precinct that the individual may visit during an event.
As previously confirmed, Supercars will conduct temperature testing on arrival to the circuit.
If individuals present with a high temperature they will be referred to an external doctor, medical centre, or hospital for further testing.
Those presenting with coronavirus-like symptoms such as fever, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough, lack of sense of smell or fatigue will not be allowed to travel or enter the circuit.
Supercars has advised that teams “stay as isolated as possible within their own home” between events, particularly drivers and key team staff.
Teams are also advised to limit unnecessary travel or interaction with members of the public.
Supercars’ Return to Racing document is current as of June 10. However, its plan remains fluid amid the easing of restrictions by Federal, State, and Territory Governments.
As such, the measures in the document are subject to change.