FRIDAY’S announcement by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has had wide implications and not just for activities across the state in the next five days.
The inability to move around during what is virtually a complete lockdown means that events scheduled for the following week have also been impacted.
Motorcycling Australia and Motorsport Australia has advised of the postponement of the upcoming Australian All Wheels Race Fest at Phillip Island, scheduled for February 18-21.
A round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and Round 1 of the 2021 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, the event was to feature both cars and bikes on track across the weekend.
With confirmation of a statewide Victorian lockdown imposed by the Victorian Government limiting travel into and out of the state, the decision to postpone the event was made today to provide certainty to categories, competitors, teams, officials and spectators before the ‘bump-in’ proceedings began.
The Phillip Island GP Circuit made the following announcement today:
At this stage, there is no certainty the lockdown will end after the initial 5 day period, and for the event to proceed many attendees will be required to travel into Victoria in the coming days, with many unwilling to do so without a understanding if the event can proceed and on how they may be able to return home once the event concludes.
There is also uncertainty around the level of restrictions once any lockdown ends, making the prospect of hosting this large event a difficult one, given the logistical requirements and uncertainty around gathering numbers and travel between regions.
All spectators who purchased a ticket to this event will be provided with a full refund, and all ticketholders will be contacted in the coming days about this process.
Work will begin shortly to see if an alternative date is possible for this unique event which brings together a spectacular race event of both two and four wheels.
Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle:
“Motorcycling Australia and the ASBK Management Team have the responsibility to ensure the safety of our ASBK teams, riders, officials and dedicated fans. Whilst we are very disappointed by the impact of the Victorian Governments decision today with this new COVID-19 lockdown. The safety of our MA members come first, and this means a tough decision needs to be made, and in a timely manner.
“We thank the ASBK paddock, our championship partners and fans for their understanding at this difficult time, as these circumstances our outside of our control, and are extremely frustrating this close to the inaugural event together with Motorsport Australia.
“We will work with Motorsport Australia and Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit with the aim to reschedule the Australian All Wheels Race Fest for a new date in 2021.
“ASBK Championship will now kick off at Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla Victoria for ASBK Round 2 on March 12 -14. We look forward to getting back to the trackside and welcome riders and fans.”
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith:
“We’re all understandably disappointed with this outcome, given the significant planning already underway for this event,” Smith said.
“The health and safety of all those who would be part of the event has to be our priority and unfortunately race meetings like this cannot just be turned on and turned off in 24 hours.
“There would also be a significant costs for organisers, categories, teams, officials and spectators if there was a last minute cancellation, so this decision provides some certainty for everyone who had planned to attend and makes sure that no competitors are disadvantaged in their respective series or Championship.
“For the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships, we now look forward to the opening round taking place as part of the Hi Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour on the Easter Weekend. We look forward to working closely with Matt and the team at Australian Racing Group to deliver an exciting event at Australia’s most iconic circuit.”