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Edwards: Interstate move brings big financial, social cost

Simon Chapman

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Tuesday 14th July, 2020 - 6:00am

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Tim Edwards says the interstate move will be costly

Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards says the interstate move by Victorian-based Supercars teams will come at a significant financial and social cost.

Erebus Motorsport, Team 18, Kelly Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Tickford Racing chose to up sticks on July 6 in an effort to keep the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint alive.

It meant a last-minute dash across the border to New South Wales, safeguarding the season in the short term from the border closure that night at 23:59 local time/AEST.

In the rush to ready themselves to cross state lines, drivers and crew members were given little time to say goodbye to their friends and family.

It’s a move that has been hailed by the wider Supercars fraternity, with teams facing at least six weeks on the road and no certainty beyond that as to when they might be able to return.

Edwards had hoped to attend the second round of Supercars at Sydney but isn’t able to do so due to business commitments.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Edwards said the move on Monday last week was a tough time for the crew.

“It was tough, but I took some comfort from the fact that when I saw them off at six-thirty, seven o’clock, they were in good spirits,” Edwards said of the last-minute departure.

“For some of them, it was very tough to go home to tell their partners. There are some that have got newborns, one that’s wife is expecting in about eight weeks time.

“For those guys, it was tough for them. It’s not easy going away from your family for an extended period like that.

“It’s not necessarily what they signed up to for a job, but they all stepped up to the plate and did it and left with a smile on their face because they know that’s what we’ve got to do as a team and as a business, that’s the predicament we’re forced into at the moment.

“You can’t not highlight the fact this was a big ask for all those mechanics, engineers, drivers, and personnel,” Edwards added.

“It’s a big ask. They’ve all stepped up to the plate. You can’t commend them enough for what they’ve done.”

While the social sacrifice for the crew is one part, Edwards and every other Victorian team is faced with the stark reality of how much the move will cost.

Ultimately, Edwards and other teams have taken a ‘some racing is better than no racing’ approach and are willing to bear the brunt of the cost in an effort to see the season continue.

However, it comes at a time when teams have already been financially hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which put a four-month pause on proceedings earlier this year.

“The numbers just to even feed them is quite a scary number,” Edwards explained.

“You’re talking tens of thousands to feed them. In our team’s case, it’s going to cost us in excess of $50,000 just to feed the team for the next, let’s just assume it’s a five-and-a-bit-week period.

“There’s huge challenges ahead for us. We’ve just got to navigate through it, nobody said it was going to be easy.”

Edwards has been buoyed by the support he’s received from his sponsor network and associates.

“We’ve got members in Sydney offering cooking facilities or whatever they can to help,” he said.

“I’ve got sponsors as well, Haltech who have got a factory near there. That’s become our hub for all deliveries. We’ll be having parts delivered and collected from there.

“It’s amazing the number of messages I had from either members, fans, or sponsors, saying how can we help?

“That actually feels great when you do get that reception when people realise the pressure the team is under. Everyone is prepared to step up and help.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship heads back to Sydney Motorsport Park for a second time this weekend with the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprin on July 18-19.

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