Winton responds to COVID outbreak on eve of Supercars event

Supercars is set to race at Winton this weekend

The Benalla Auto Club is working with authorities and Supercars to understand what impact new COVID-19 restrictions might have on the Winton SuperSprint this weekend.

Among various possibilities being investigated to minimise impact on the event could be separating fans based on whether or not they are travelling from Greater Melbourne.

The situation comes amid a growing cluster of coronavirus infections in Melbourne just days out from the fifth event of this year’s Repco Supercars Championship at Winton Motor Raceway.

New restrictions concerning gatherings and mask-wearing will be imposed on Greater Melbourne from tonight (18:00 local time/AEST), but also apply to such residents if they travel into regional Victoria.

“At the moment, if you’re regional to regional, it’s no problem,” Benalla Auto Club CEO Chris Lewis-Williams told Speedcafe.com.

“At this stage it’s only if you’re coming out of Melbourne coming up to the event, that’s the clarity we want to get and can we create a zone for them?”

The exact impact on Supercars is not yet clear, but as it stands the event is going ahead as planned.

A public events panel will provide advice to the Victorian Government regarding sporting or other major events; the AFL has suspended ticket sales for its Melbourne matches this weekend.

Tickets for the Winton SuperSprint are currently still available.

Lewis-Williams said the event promoters are keeping tabs on the situation.

“Our regional outdoor Supercar event is hoping to proceed as planned, but we’re gathering all the information from the sources to make sure that we keep people updated as quickly as we can,” he said.

“We’ve reached out to all of our contacts in government to find out how those restrictions will affect us.

“We understand that Tier 1 (more than 7,500 attendees) and Tier 2 events (1,001 to 7,500 attendees) are being reviewed as we speak and we are working to get some clarity as quickly as we can.

“We are the regional Supercar event so we’re doing some analysis of postcodes and the like. We’re just trying to get some clarity around what the restrictions mean for the event.

“We’ll gather as much data as we can, get advice from the health experts, and let people know accordingly,” he added.

The new restrictions on Greater Melbourne are likely to be in place at least until June 4.

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