By Sam Watson

THE event to replace the cancelled Phillip Island MotoGP, the Bass Coast Festival of Motorsport, has been cancelled.

On Friday, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) said the event planned for October 22-24 could not go ahead due to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bunnings Trade Phillip Island Supersprint, the Mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup were all due to take place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit across three days.

AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott said despite their efforts to deliver the event, it wasn’t possible given the current environment.

“AGPC would like to thank the Victorian government, Supercars, Australian Superbike Championship, Porsche Carrera Cup, the Bass Coast Shire Council and associated tourism and business groups for their support during the event creation and planning phases in recent weeks,” Westacott said.

“Our appreciation also extends to the legion of motorsport fans who provided their support for this new event concept.”

Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the council was incredibly disappointed to lose the event.

“The Australian Grand Prix Corporation provided great support for planned activation to ensure our businesses could capitalise on the influx of spectators,” Cr Tessari said.

“The event recognised and celebrated of our long history of motorsports on Phillip Island, however, we understand the important role current restrictions play on keeping our community safe.”

The MotoGP is one of the key economic drivers for Phillip Island and the Bass Coast, bringing more than $42 million to the region.

Cr Tessari said council would continue to push at all levels of government for greater support for local businesses that have been heavily impacted by the lack of visitors to the region over the last 18 months.