With Covid-19 restrictions beginning to ease around the country, the potential that sporting events will be back on the calendar in the not too distant future has allowed Australian GT to start moving forward, with recent weeks seeing a survey of teams and drivers, whilst further discussions have been had with stakeholders, all focussed on a return to racing.
“Importantly for us, our teams are ready to go,” Australian GT category owner Jim Manolios explained. “It seems there has been very little – if any – drop off in potential entries compared to a survey we did at the start of the season, and that’s good news. Clearly we need a little more water to pass under the bridge before we can start locking in dates, but we have already established a number of events that we could contest if the promoters are able to lock the venues in. At the same time we also have a number of good backup events we are working on in case events like Supercars operate without support categories, as has already been discussed.”
Whilst final details will continue to be fluid in the short term with the ongoing threat of the disease, Australian GT can reveal that almost unanimously, the strong support the series received pre-season will continue once racing resumes.
“Obviously our primary concern is the safety of our teams and staff, that had to be at the forefront of all our discussions, so too the ability for our crews to be able to travel safely to the race venues including crossing State borders – all considerations that we needed to involve in any decision making.
“We have had ongoing communications with Motorsport Australia since the start of the lockdown and we strongly suggest everyone reads their excellent ‘getting back to racing’ document, as we will have to make several changes as to how we go racing. We’ve also been in contact with Supercars and ARG about continuing our pre-Covid-19 plans, whilst we have also looked at other events that would allow us to complete our 2020 season.
“There is a lot to consider, not the least being travel between States, possible limitations to the number of teams allowed at venues – and the changes to pre-established arrangements like television and media coverage – these are also important considerations which could affect some event promoters,” Manolios added.
“If restrictions ease and events are allowed to take place, we will be racing, of that there is no question, and whilst we don’t know 100% what that calendar looks like right now, we have dates to work with between July and December. The great thing from my perspective is that we have options and we’re pursuing all of them to ensure that we will crown a 2020 Australian GT champion!”
And as discussions continue regarding a return to racing, Australian GT organisers have also revealed that they will begin to conduct test days – under current restrictions and limitations – at a number of circuits over coming weeks to ensure teams are ready for the resumption of play.