Erebus Motorsport is getting ready for a busy lead up to Bathurst, with closed borders complicating preparations.
The team is preparing for Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway to enter The Great Race as a wildcard entry, however, the pair are stuck on the wrong side of the Tasman.
With growing Covid-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Auckland, it is unlikely the borders will open any time soon.
Travel to Australia is suspended until mid-September, but given the increased spread of the Delta variant on both sides of the Tasman, this suspension is likely to be extended further.
Erebus believes they are unlikely to receive a travel exemption for the pair so they are relying on the travel bubble re-opening.
The ongoing delays in getting Murphy and Stanaway to Australia may yet see the duo unable to test in the car until the week of Bathurst.
Erebus Motorsport boss Barry Ryan spoke to Speedcafe about the testing delay.
“We’re just pressing on like it’s happening and if it doesn’t happen or if it has to happen very late, worst case we’ve talked about practising on the way to Bathurst, doing some testing,” Ryan said.
“That’s the absolute worst-case scenario. In a perfect world they’ll get to test at the start of October, they’ll do a couple of days, decide if they need any more testing, then roll into Bathurst.”
The pair were expected to have already had their first test in the car before border closures halted the team’s plan.
“There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to do at the workshop as well; seats, driver changes, helmet connections, all the stuff that makes sure that you have a successful Bathurst,” Ryan said.
“We’ve got to make sure we tick those boxes too. We don’t want to have that last-minute rush scenario where you’re setting yourself up to fail.”
“The car will be fine because we’ve got all this time to prep it right.
“But if you’ve got to change the seats or pedal box setting or all that stuff that can potentially make it fail, we don’t want to have that situation.
“We need to get there with the car perfect, the drivers happy, and ready to go out on the track.”
Murphy and Stanaway have both begun training for the event.
Stanaway is also competing in the Supercars Eseries; winning the opening round of the All-Star championship last night, held at Charlotte.’
However, there is a silver lining for the group, with rumours that the race may be pushed even further back due to the growing outbreak in New South Wales.
The race has already been delayed by a month, now set to get underway November 4-7 rather than the traditional October date.
If Bathurst is again set back this would give the Kiwi pair more time to get into Australia and prepare for the race.
Main image:Mark Horsburgh