Phillip Island TCR/S5000 round postponed
The Victorian lockdown has prompted the postponement of the Motorsport Australia Championships event at Phillip Island.
The circuit was set to host what was billed as the All Wheels Race Fest next weekend, which included the second round of the TCR Australia and S5000 seasons, the opening GT World Challenge Australia round, and the opening Australian Superbike round.
However a new COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne has forced Motorsport Australia to postpone the event.
The news follows confirmation Supercars has postponed next Tuesday's pre-season test at Winton.
While the snap five-day Victorian lockdown could end next Wednesday, before the Phillip Island was scheduled to start, uncertainty over ongoing restrictions and interstate border complications left organisers with little option but the postpone.
“We’re all understandably disappointed with this outcome, given the significant planning already underway for this event,” said Motorsport Australia's Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith.
“The health and safety of all those who would be part of the event has to be our priority and unfortunately race meetings like this cannot just be turned on and turned off in 24 hours.
“There would also be a significant costs for organisers, categories, teams, officials and spectators if there was a last minute cancellation, so this decision provides some certainty for everyone who had planned to attend and makes sure that no competitors are disadvantaged in their respective series or championship.
“For the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships, we now look forward to the opening round taking place as part of the Hi Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour on the Easter Weekend. We look forward to working closely with Matt [Braid] and the team at Australian Racing Group to deliver an exciting event at Australia’s most iconic circuit.”
Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle agreed cancelling the unique 2+4 event was the only realistic outcome.
"Motorcycling Australia and the ASBK Management Team have the responsibility to ensure the safety of our ASBK teams, riders, officials and dedicated fans," he said.
"Whilst we are very disappointed by the impact of the Victorian government's decision today with this new COVID-19 lockdown, the safety of our MA members come first and this means a tough decision needs to be made, and in a timely manner.
"We thank the ASBK paddock, our championship partners and fans for their understanding at this difficult time, as these circumstances our outside of our control, and are extremely frustrating this close to the inaugural event together with Motorsport Australia.
"We will work with Motorsport Australia and Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit with the aim to reschedule the Australian All Wheels Race Fest for a new date in 2021.
"ASBK Championship will now kick off at Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla Victoria for ASBK Round 2 on March 12 -14. We look forward to getting back to the trackside and welcome riders and fans."
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