Supercars forced to postpone Darwin race following Covid-19 border closures
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Supercars has been forced to delay this weekend’s round in Darwin in another COVID blow to the season.
But the move to push back the first of two planned Darwin rounds by a week could open the door to midweek racing in the Top End.
Fresh travel restrictions in the Northern Territory will force the sport to isolate for at least a week and undergo additional testing after parts of Queensland were declared hotspots.
All Supercars teams had relocated to Queensland ahead of the Darwin event after travellers from Victoria and NSW were banned from entering the NT.
Supercars confirmed this weekend’s Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley would now take place the following weekend on August 15-16, while the second leg of the Darwin double-header would be moved to a later date.
It followed a dramatic few days with transporters left waiting for clearance at the border and teams’ travel plans delayed.
Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said the call to delay the round was the right one.
“In order to make sure we are not putting anybody at risk both from a Supercars point of view or a Territorians point of view, the teams are on their way up now and they are going to go into managed isolation and conduct additional testing to make sure everyone is comfortable before we go racing,” Seamer said.
“So this weekend will be postponed and we’ll focus on getting going again next weekend.
“But after a lot of conversations and discussion with the Northern Territory (government) and their health specialists and advisors, we decided it wasn’t worth putting the series or their health constituents at risk.”
Supercars had originally planned to hold a double-header at Hidden Valley across next two weekends to catch up on races in its COVID-ravaged season.
Seamer said Supercars still intended to hold a second event in Darwin and a midweek race after the first leg in Darwin could be on the table.
“Our intent is to conduct two races whilst we’re up in Darwin, we’re just working through some of the options with them around the following week and weekend,” Seamer said.
“We are currently looking at all the options at the moment both midweek and weekend.”