Supercars to make Townsville decision in two weeks
Thursday 3rd June, 2021 - 2:00pm
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says the category will make a call with regards to the NTI Townsville 500 in the coming weeks.
Victorian-based Supercars teams have left the state and temporarily based themselves out of New South Wales to fulfil the requirement of being out of a COVID-19 hot spot for 14 days before entering the Northern Territory for the forthcoming Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.
Supercars is sticking to its guns on its public promise to ensure Victorian teams return home after the fifth event of the year across June 18-20.
That being the number one priority could in turn trigger questions over the Townsville event which follows three weeks later on July 9-11, although Supercars has ensured action at the Reid Park street circuit is going ahead at this stage.
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The latest lockdown in Greater Melbourne, which was recently extended by seven days, is currently set to end on June 10 at 23:59 AEST.
With teams to head home after Darwin as planned, Supercars will have to hope that the lockdown is not extended and Queensland’s hot spot declaration for Greater Melbourne is rescinded before the Townsville event.
“We need to get through Darwin,” Seamer said today on SEN Mornings.
“It’s a two-week process. If something goes wrong, obviously we’re based in New South Wales, we can go to Sydney Motorsport Park.
“We’ve proven that in a worst-case scenario that we can run a TV-only event there. That gives us some flexibility as well.
“We’ve committed to everybody, both internally and externally that they go home after Sunday at Darwin.
“The chances of exemptions [for entering Queensland] are very, very low,” he added.
“I think most of our partners we talk to are following a very similar process.
“What we do about Townsville… we’ve got a couple of weeks before we have to make a call on that.
“Obviously we’re, in the background, scenario planning, but the D-Day as it were for Townsville is not for another two weeks.”
Seamer recognised that last year’s extended spell on the road, which lasted more than 100 days, took its toll on teams.
Erebus Motorsport, Team 18, Tickford Racing, Kelly Grove Racing, and Walkinshaw Andretti United stationed themselves out of various lodgings in southeast Queensland.
Seamer said his priority is to not have a repeat of those scenes.
“The personal toll that this virus and the challenges that we’re all facing is not easy, and it’s very difficult to do that even when you’re at home in lockdown,” said Seamer.
“So to go on the road is very challenging for them and that’s why, in the conversations that we’ve been having with everybody, whether it’s Mark Winterbottom or Mark Skaife, it’s about setting an end date on it.
“Because last year the biggest issue was it was sort of an infinite trip that these people were on. A, we can’t ask them to do that again, and B, we’re going to have to find other ways to continue to navigate this.”