Victorian teams facing another border exodus for QR
Monday 19th July, 2021 - 9:50am
Supercars has told Victorian teams to be prepared to leave by August 6 to safeguard the next round of the championship at Queensland Raceway.
Amid speculation surrounding the next stop on the calendar, Supercars put a stake in the ground; announcing plans to host a two-day, three-race SuperSprint at the circuit.
Serious discussions were afoot at the Townsville SuperSprint for the championship to extend its stay in the Sunshine State with an event at Queensland Raceway mooted for July 31-August 1.
That concept was met with a mixed response from Victorian teams, although Speedcafe.com understands the majority were in favour of staying on for an extra two weeks in Queensland.
While some teams were keen to get another event in the bank, that plan was ultimately kiboshed due to a raft of complications.
Those were largely related to pre-existing bookings at Queensland Raceway, planning and logistics difficulties, television scheduling, and a clash with the Olympics.
Queensland Raceway will also need to undergo a handful of temporary safety upgrades, although it is understood that can be facilitated in a matter of days.
With Victorian teams heading home, it means they will have at least two and half weeks back at their respective bases before their planned return north.
The first part of that will be under lockdown, which is currently slated to end on Tuesday at midnight.
With COVID-19 cases in the double digits, it remains unclear whether the lockdown will be extended. In any case, teams will still be allowed to operate their workshops.
Unless restrictions are eased and Queensland rescinds its hotspot declaration, Victorian teams will have to quarantine for 14 days when they enter Queensland. As it stands, teams will need an exemption to enter Queensland straight from Victoria.
Whether teams are willing to quarantine remains unclear. Teams could theoretically enter New South Wales from Victoria and stay 14 days in the state before heading to Queensland – much like they did earlier this year for the Darwin Triple Crown – but would have to steer clear of Greater Sydney.
The Blanchard Racing Team, Erebus Motorsport, Kelly Grove Racing, Team 18, Tickford Racing, and Walkinshaw Andretti United either left on Sunday night or are heading home today.
The Repco Supercars Championship has earmarked the initial Sydney SuperNight date of August 21-22 for the new Queensland Raceway event.
It remains unclear where the Sydney SuperNight will slot back into the calendar as COVID-19 cases crest triple digits in recent days in the city.