Victorian Supercars teams planning return home before Bathurst

The Erebus Motorsport crew in action at Townsville. Picture: Ross Gibb

Melbourne-based Supercars squads including Erebus Motorsport are expecting to be able to return home between the Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst rounds later this year.

In a twist from previous situations when the Repco Supercars Championship has headed on the road, it’s the Victorian teams who may have more flexibility on this occasion.

In COVID times, Queensland teams and drivers have generally had the rub of the green in terms of travel arrangements, whereas their Victorian counterparts last year had to spend more than 100 consecutive days away from home to save the season.

More than three months after the most recent round, Supercars will complete the remaining five rounds of the 2021 season all in New South Wales.

That will comprise of four back-to-back events at SMP, starting with the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight on October 29-31, before a bumper finale in the form of the Repco Bathurst 1000 across November 30 to December 5.

It’s expected quarantine-less travel will be possible between NSW and Victoria by that time – albeit not necessarily between NSW and Queensland.

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan confirmed his team will return to its Dandenong South headquarters to refresh before Bathurst.

“Between Sydney Motorsport Park #4 and Bathurst, it’s going to be great to get home and do four or five days in the workshop properly to prepare, even though we know Queensland teams can’t, but last year was the opposite,” Ryan told Speedcafe.com.

He believes the chance to break up the time away will do wonders for his personnel.

“At the moment it’s a pretty shit place to be, Victoria,” he noted, with the southeastern state and particularly its capital having been through numerous lockdowns in 2021.

“We’re going through a lot of shit compared to Queensland so trying to get everybody’s headspace into gear to get to these rounds and look forward to something is a big thing for us.

“And then we’ll hopefully have the opposite when it comes to Bathurst where all our crew will have been home, and they’ll probably go home to two or three or four days of the first time they’ve been let out of the house in six months.

“And then hopefully they’ll go to Bathurst with this renewed energy, so it’s going to be a different dynamic for us and a different dynamic for the Queenslanders not being able to go home.

“I know it’s going to be a big test on all of the teams and whoever manages it the best will probably win Bathurst.”

There could even be the chance to duck home to Melbourne earlier in November between the weekly SMP rounds, but Ryan is not so sure.

“Doing it between the [back-to-back] weekends, I’ve heard that might be possible but I don’t think it’s practical,” he said.

“By the time you get home – the reason you’d go home would be to have a break, but you’d have a couple of days and then have to fly straight back. And if you crash a car the weekend before, you’d have to renege on flights.

“We’ve obviously got two drivers [Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki] and an engineer [George Commins] from Queensland so they won’t be able to go home, so we’ll probably stick together as a team and do those four rounds together and then head home after the last one for Bathurst prep.”

Erebus’ rookie duo sit 10th and 11th in the drivers’ championship, Brown ahead of Kostecki by six points.

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