Supercars wary of pre-Bathurst quarantine

Andrew van Leeuwen

The five Victorian teams were forced into exile earlier this month by a worsening coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne, with drivers and crews fleeing the state with no set return date.

They are now all temporarily based in south-east Queensland, as is Team Sydney, with all teams now in a 14-day holding pattern before they can travel to the Northern Territory for the Darwin double-header.

The only team not currently over the Queensland border is Brad Jones Racing, which is still able to work out of its Albury base in southern New South Wales.

While there has been speculation of a rapid-fire end to the championship, with the likes of Queensland Raceway called into action in a bid to finish the series by the Bathurst 1000 in October, series COO Shane Howard today told media that the Victorian teams will return home between Townsville and the trip to Mount Panorama on October 8-11.

That means either early or mid September, depending on whether Townsville becomes a double-header.

“After Townsville the Victorian teams will go back to Victoria,” Howard said.

“Teams will go back, spend times with their family and obviously regroup in the garage.

“Then it allows time, if [the] New South Wales border is still shut, then we may need to consider the teams going into quarantine to come back in to do Bathurst at that time.

“But that’s all work in progress. It’s all in line with COVID plan and working with each state government.”

What remains unclear is the fate of the Sandown round, currently schedule for September 19-20.

While it currently seems unfeasible given Melbourne is back in lockdown, understands Super2 and Super3 teams have been told to plan as if the round is going ahead for now.

The Bend in South Australia has already put its hand up to host an event on that weekend if needed, however a lot of that will depend on the border situations between Victoria and SA, and Victorian and New South Wales.

The Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews is expected to confirm a pandemic-high number of new cases today.