Double border headache for Supercars

The Melbourne Supercars teams could face a double dose of border drama either side of the Queensland Raceway round if COVID-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria aren't contained in the coming weeks.

Double border headache for Supercars

The Delta strain is currently causing significant problems across Australia's east and south coasts, Sydney the worst hit with the city in lockdown and 110 new positive cases confirmed in the last 24 hours.

That outbreak has also spilled into Victoria and South Australia, both of those states currently locked down as well.

The Victorian situation is the most troubling for Supercars, with six teams – namely Walkinshaw Andretti United, Team 18, Erebus Motorsport, Kelly Grove Racing, Tickford Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team – all based in Melbourne.

Supercars has already responded to the spate of outbreaks by postponing next month's Sydney SuperNight and moving a sprint round at Queensland Raceway onto that August 21-22 date.

As first reported by Motorsport.com, the Victorian teams have already been warned that they may well need to hit the road a fortnight before the QR event to ensure they can get across the closed Queensland/Victoria border.

A similar plan was used to get those teams into the Northern Territory last month, amid an earlier outbreak in Melbourne.

At that point the New South Wales/Victoria border was open and NSW was mostly COVID-free, the teams able to spend a fortnight across that first border before continuing to Darwin.

However, under the current circumstances, the picture is a little less clear.

Victoria is currently closed off to most of Australia, however NSW has again left the border open, so teams could feasibly still travel north.

They would, however, effectively be in lockdown for those 14 days as per the current NSW Health rules.

Queensland has left its border open to regional NSW, which means if the teams avoid the Greater Sydney area and complete their 14-days outside of Victoria, they would then be able to enter Queensland.

But, once the QR event is done, it may not easy for those Melbourne teams to get home.

Victoria has closed its border to all of NSW and is currently not even accepting exemptions to its red zone system. That means if teams serve their pre-QR isolation there, unless things change they will have to then chalk up 14 days in Queensland before being able to travel back to Melbourne.

That would equate to a full 28 days on the road to ensure the two-day meeting goes ahead.

The situation could become even more complicated if Queensland decides to close its borders to regional NSW, which would make it impossible for the Melbourne teams to enter without serving supervised quarantine somewhere on the way.

It could also become less complicated should the Victoria and/or New South Wales situations improve in the coming weeks.

Another option is for the Melbourne-based personnel to go straight into hotel quarantine in Queensland, which would mean strict conditions on the way in but a free passage back to Melbourne afterwards.

There is still roughly a fortnight for decisions to be made , with August 4 or 5 the rough date Melbourne teams would need to leave home.

There have been rumblings of discontent from the Melbourne teams for some time over the travel complications, the southerners having worn the brunt of the time on the road.

They spent more than 100 days away from home last season due to the deadly second wave in Melbourne and have already been forced to do the pre-Darwin trek to New South Wales this year.

There is now more time away from home looming to ensure the 2021 season keeps going and Supercars completes the 12 rounds needed to satisfy the broadcast agreement.

The Queensland teams, meanwhile, have been less affected by border rules. There was a brief dash to New South Wales before the Tasmania round earlier this year due to a scare in Brisbane, but that was called off after a couple of days.

shares
comments

Related video

Murphy: Give Stanaway a shot at Whincup's seat

Previous article

Murphy: Give Stanaway a shot at Whincup's seat

Next article

Shootout controversy could prompt Supercars rule change

Shootout controversy could prompt Supercars rule change
Load comments
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020