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Supercar Trekkers

The great Supercars migration of 2020 has begun.

Drivers and crews will be coming from around the country to Mount Panorama, but many will be diverting through Covid-19 quarantine time before landing at Mount Panorama.

The unusual travel arrangements will not end once the race is run, either, with Queensland teams facing return-to-home restrictions if the currently border lock-down with NSW continues into October.

Red Bull HRT boss Roland Dane said he is staying in Brisbane this year but has booked his Bathurst crew into a hotel near Adelaide, so they can have a relatively relaxed fortnight of quarantine instead of being forced into hotel lockdown in Queensland at a cost of $3000 for each person.

As the travel begins, one thing is certain – TCR Australia graduate Dylan O’Keefe will get the highest-mileage prize as he returns from Switzerland to partner Andre Heimgartner in the NED Mustang at Kelly Racing. He travelled to Europe to race in the World TCR series in a Renault Megane RS, but did not anticipate the difficulty in returning home.

“I have a ticket booked for the 25th. I had six travel agents working on it,” O’Keefe told Race News from Europe.

His Bathurst plan will include a fortnight of hotel quarantine in Sydney, the closest arrivals city to Bathurst, and he hopes to be clear of any coronavirus complications in time to drive to Bathurst.

O’Keefe will even trump Dean Fiore and James Golding, who will partner Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom at Team 18. Fiore is flying from Perth to the Gold Coast and then on to Bathurst, while Golding has already begun a fortnight’s quarantine in Darwin – which is becoming a popular stop-off point for interstate travellers – before also joing the Commodore squad in Queensland.

The final field for this year’s Bathurst 1000 is set, unless Garry Rogers reverses his threat to withdrawn his entry of a wildcard Commodore for youngsters Tyler Everingham and Nathan Herne. An application to Motorsport Australia for Herne to receive a dispensation on the Superlicense required to race in the Bathurst 1000 was refused, triggering Rogers’ decision not to continue with the entry unless there is a change.

“The statement of Motorsport Australia . . . is disappointing, but not surprising. Both Motorsport Australia and Supercars have made the process of Nathan Herne’s licence dispensation difficult from the beginning,”said Rogers.

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