Winton restart to Supercars season "challenged"

The 2021 Supercars season may not resume at Winton in early October as planned, with series CEO Sean Seamer admitting that date is "challenged".

Winton restart to Supercars season "challenged"

The Aussie series has already heavily revised the second half of its 2021 season once as it looks to ensure it can complete the 12 events required by its broadcast agreement amid COVID-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria.

Four of the five remaining events are split across those two states, including the proposed restart to the season at Winton in Northern Victoria on the first weekend in October.

The outbreaks have created a number of hurdles, with seven of the 11 teams currently facing lockdowns (six in Victoria and one in New South Wales), while Queensland has closed its borders to both of those states, which means the four remaining teams can't travel to them anyway.

As a result Supercars is currently working on yet another revised schedule for the remainder of the year, which is likely to see the Gold Coast 500 scrapped and the Bathurst 1000 shifted to December.

Other rounds are likely to be shuffled as well, series boss Seamer admitting that the idea of going to Winton in just over a month is "challenged".

"We should have some clarity around what we're going to do in Q4 – and it will be subject to change – I'd say [on] the first of September," said Seamer. "A month before the scheduled Winton event which, in its current date, is obviously challenged.

"That date for Winton is challenged, but we're committed to getting there. We're working on biosecurity protocols to make that happen, that's part of the discussions that are in process right now."

The remaining events on the existing calendar are Winton, Phillip Island, Sydney Motorsport Park, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

Those aforementioned changes around Bathurst and the Gold Coast are expected to happen, while Sydney Motorsport Park in November could also be difficult given the concentration of the NSW outbreak on the Greater Sydney area.

That means replacement events could be required to to hit the magic 12 rounds.

But while a retreat to circuits like The Bend Motorsport Park or Queensland Raceway in states currently unaffected by COVID might seem like an obvious move, Seamer is adamant its a safer bet to work towards racing in NSW and Victoria given the volume of teams in that region.

"It's likely that we'll remain on the eastern seaboard, we don't see anything happening in any other state that gives us a level of confidence to venture further afield than that," he said.

"We've already raced [at The Bend this year], [and] we did back-to-backs there last year. Right now we're focused on where we haven't been and what we've got to get done.

"The priority is the Bathurst 1000 and working backwards from that on plans that we can put in place with a high degree of certainty. Because certainly if we move Bathurst again that will be the last time that moves.

"Of course The Bend is an option. Of course Perth is an option. Darwin, if we really needed to. But what we're looking for is the highest degree of certainty for delivering the remaining five rounds.

"As it stands right now we're able to get more certainty on the eastern seaboard."

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