Victorians’ return from Bathurst 1000 becomes easier

Tickford Racing is one of Supercars’ Victorian-based teams

The Victorian Supercars teams’ return from the Repco Bathurst 1000 has become somewhat easier due to new border restrictions which will soon take effect.

While the Great Race itself will take place on Sunday, December 5 under the latest revision to the Supercars Championship calendar, the ongoing classification of certain New South Wales local government areas such as Bathurst Regional Council as ‘extreme risk zones’ by Victoria hardly represents a palatable scenario.

However, residents of the southern state will be able to return from September 30 provided they have been double-vaccinated and cleared a COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior.

They will nevertheless still have to observe two weeks of home quarantine.

For Supercars personnel, the vaccination requirement should already be met by the time teams leave Mount Panorama, given it will be a condition of entry to Sydney Motorsport Park for what is anticipated to be two events at the Western Sydney circuit.

If not, then under current settings, they would not be able to return home, at least not without a rather circuitous route to clear quarantine somewhere else.

The decision is thus a positive one for Walkinshaw Andretti United, Blanchard Racing Team, Tickford Racing, Kelly Grove Racing, Erebus Motorsport, and Team 18.

“So Victorians in an extreme risk zone, which is basically Sydney at this time, will be eligible to return home to Victoria if they are double-vaccinated,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

As for vaccination at Mount Panorama, a Bathurst Regional Council spokesperson advised earlier this month, “Council will be guided by the applicable Public Health Orders at that time.”

Presumably then, based on the stance from the NSW Government, double vaccination will also be a condition of entry to that circuit.

Exactly where the Supercars Championship field goes on the way to Sydney and Bathurst remains unconfirmed, although Queensland Raceway is in the frame to host a pair of events in late-October.

A key benefit of an Ipswich-Sydney-Bathurst sequence, regardless of how many events might be held at each venue, is that it cuts out a step in quarantine for all competitors relative to the previous version of the calendar.

That was comprised of stops at Winton, Phillip Island, Bathurst, Sydney, and then the Gold Coast, meaning everyone would have had to isolate at suitable accommodation for 14 days upon entering New South Wales from Victoria, under the former state’s current COVID-19 concerns notice.

Whether rules such as that concerns notice and the extreme risk zone classification would still apply in December cannot be predicted with any certainty, but the latest development should be considered encouraging.

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