Covid clusters in Brisbane have put the brakes on the Repco Supercars championship – again.
A one-week delay has been confirmed for the next event at Symmons Plains as Supercars waits for the Queensland situation to stabilise.
The Beaurepairs Tasmania SuperSprint will now be held on April 17-18, provided there is no escalation of the situation in the sunshine state.
Things had been looking better for the touring car championship after the wholesale dramas of 2020, although the postponement of the Australian Grand Prix was the first setback for 2021 and there are still doubts around the revised date for the Albert Park event at the back end of the year.
The Tasmania tussle is one of the new-style two-day race meetings, with three short sprint races and no refuelling, which emerged from the scheduling situation and pressure on teams last year.
“In light of the current Covid-19 situation in Brisbane, Supercars has made the precautionary decision to delay the upcoming Beaurepairs Tasmania SuperSprint by one week,” it says in an official statement.
The three-day Covid-19 lockdown in the greater Brisbane areas created a significant drama for Supercars because many of the staff of its two leading teams, Shell V-Power Racing and Red Bull Ampol Racing, live in the affected area and the race base for Triple Eight – which fields the Bulls – is at Banyo in the inner-north of the Queensland capital.
Some members of the Triple Eight crew left Brisbane earlier this week to avoid the predicted lock-down to ensure they could field the Mercedes-AMG GT that will be driven by Shane van Gisbergen and Prince Jefri Ibrahim in the GT championship race at the Easter Bathurst race meeting.
Tasmania is definitely delayed and there are also doubts around the Supercars round at Winton on the last weekend in May.
Shane Howard, the chief operating officer of Supercars, told Race News the Winton event would definitely go ahead but admitted there is still uncertainty around financial backing.
Winton relies on considerable backing from the Victorian state government through its funding for tourism.