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Work ongoing for Supercars round in New Zealand

Simon Chapman

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Tuesday 17th November, 2020 - 2:47pm

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Auckland’s tourism body is in ongoing discussions with Supercars

New Zealand’s place on next year’s Supercars calendar remains unclear with officials across the Tasman revealing discussions are ongoing.

For the first time since 2001, the Supercars Championship did not make the voyage to New Zealand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After Auckland Council bylaws prevented the championship from racing at Pukekohe Park on ANZAC Day weekend, Supercars was to make its debut at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.

However, border closures ultimately prevented the touring cars from competing across the ditch.

In a statement issued to Speedcafe.com, Steve Armitage, General Manager Destination at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) said work is ongoing towards the 2021 event.

“We are actively engaged with Supercars on a potential Auckland round and details of the event, including a venue, are still to be worked through,” said Armitage.

Uncertainty remains as to whether the Supercars will race at Pukekohe Park or Hampton Downs in 2021 should the championship be able to return to New Zealand.

New South Wales and the Northern Territory have opened its borders to New Zealand. However, all arrivals from Australia to New Zealand are currently required to complete a 14-day quarantine before being let out into the community.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously indicated she would like to see New Zealand’s order open with Australia by the end of the year.

However, she conceded a recent outbreak in South Australia may mean that is pushed back.

This week Prime Minister Ardern said she didn’t “have the necessary protections” to guarantee the border would open by Christmas.

“What’s happening in South Australia only further reinforces the importance of having a good understanding of how Australia intends to manage their internal borders when there are outbreaks,” Ardern said.

“If they have an outbreak but they are instituting strong border controls, then it’s manageable. But if they have a tolerance level for community transmission that’s higher than ours, then it is problematic.

“What this underscores is why it’s so important that New Zealand has not rushed into this.”

Auckland’s tourism body has previously indicated it would prefer to have Supercars return on ANZAC Day weekend, but was not averse to a date change due to COVID-19.

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