MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: (EDITORS NOTE: A polarizing filter was used for this image.) (L-R) Fabian Coulthard drives the #12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang and Scott McLaughlin drives the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang compete during the Melbourne 400 Round of 2020 Supercars season at Albert Park on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty I
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: (EDITORS NOTE: A polarizing filter was used for this image.) (L-R) Fabian Coulthard drives the #12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang and Scott McLaughlin drives the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang compete during the Melbourne 400 Round of 2020 Supercars season at Albert Park on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty I

Coronavirus puts the brakes on Supercars

Supercars will postpone its next three rounds due to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

The V8 series will adjourn upcoming events in Tasmania (April 3-5), New Zealand (April 24-26) and Perth (May 15-17), but intends to reschedule the rounds at a later stage.

Confident it will still be able to crown a champion this year, Supercars is hopeful of returning to the track for the round at Winton Motor Raceway from June 5-7.

 

 

Supercars has a five-week winter break between the Darwin Triple Crown in mid-July and the Sydney SuperSprint in late August when it hopes it can stage make-up events.

Restrictions on mass gatherings had put the next round at Symmons Plains in doubt, while the enforced 14-day isolation period for people entering Australia and New Zealand curtailed the Auckland race.

Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said the series would rather postpone events rather than race in front of no crowds.

Supercars made it through two practice and two qualifying sessions at the Melbourne 400 before the event was canned.
Supercars made it through two practice and two qualifying sessions at the Melbourne 400 before the event was canned.

"We have been working diligently to assess all available options to ensure continuity of the series," Seamer said.

"Obviously, the situation is evolving, but we acknowledge the need to act decisively with the information we have at hand.

"Our sport is a visceral experience and rather than run without crowds, we have decided, along with our key broadcast and government partners, to delay any further racing until June.

"Tasmania, Auckland and Perth events will all be postponed until later in the year, not cancelled. Fortunately, our calendar this year enables us to do this."

Seamer said he was confident the series would still be able to deliver a 14-round championship.

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer stressed that events have been postponed not cancelled. Picture: Tim Hunter
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer stressed that events have been postponed not cancelled. Picture: Tim Hunter

 

"Supercars' priority is to deliver the 14 round 2020 championship for our fans and partners, irrespective of the dates," Seamer said.

"Bathurst will obviously proceed on its traditional date (in October). We have a plan for how we can make at happen and will begin discussions with all of our stakeholders over the coming days to lock this in."

Supercars was forced to abandon its second round in Melbourne last weekend after the cancellation of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

The series opened the season in Adelaide in February - when Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin won the opening two races - and made it through two practice and two qualifying sessions at the Melbourne 400 before the event was canned.

In the absence of the action on the track, Supercars will throw its energy into its s-Sports championship.