New date confirmed for Phillip Island event

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be back in action next month at Phillip Island

A new date has been locked in for the opening round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships after initial plans for the Phillip Island event were delayed due to COVID-19.

The statewide Victorian lockdown announced last Friday triggered a decision to postpone the round, which originally was planned for this Thursday to Sunday, February 18-21.

The event, featuring the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series and the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, will now take place across March 12-14.

Other series in action will include the National Trans Am Series, the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS and the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.

Conflicting schedules will prevent the Australian Superbike Championship and its support categories from running on the rescheduled weekend.

“We’re really pleased to confirm this new date for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and also to be able to secure a new date so quickly,” said SMAC director Michael Smith.

“I’d like to thank the team at Phillip Island for their flexibility and support, allowing us to put this event on in March.

“Motorsport Australia is in regular dialogue with the Victorian Government about this event and will certainly work to deliver a COVID-safe event in line with all restrictions and requirements that may be in place at the time.”

It’s not yet clear whether spectators will be allowed to attend; action will be broadcast on the Seven Network and Sky Sport in New Zealand.

“We hope that we will be able to welcome fans to this event, however understandably there is still some uncertainty about what restrictions may be in place, so at this stage we are not offering tickets for sale,” Smith added.

“This is something we’ll monitor closely and provide regular updates for motorsport fans.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the team at Motorcycling Australia for their hard work in preparing for the 2+4 Australian All Wheels Race Fest.

“While we are unable to make the joint-event work for this specific date, we’ve formed a great partnership over recent months and fully expect this combined event to happen in the very near future.”

Phillip Island marks the second competition round of the 2021 TCR and S5000 seasons, following a trip to Symmons Plains for the Australia Day weekend.

“To secure a replacement date just weeks after the original intended date is an excellent result for the Australian Racing Group’s suite of categories,” said Australian Racing Group CEO Matt Braid.

“There was simply no way that we could have proceeded with our original event this weekend, which was disappointing, but we are grateful to our competitors and sponsors of their understanding during these times.

“The fast result means that the great momentum that was created from our opening round at Symmons Plains remains and we can get back on track.”

The revised date falls a week before Supercars head to Victoria for the Sandown SuperSprint across March 20-21.

Post-Phillip Island, ARG categories will next race at Mount Panorama as part of the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

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