Motorsport Australia has revealed its ‘Return to Race’ strategy, which it hopes will facilitate a resumption of competition amid the easing of nationwide restrictions.
The document details how the Australian governing body will carry out a return to the sport. It also estimates motorsport to contribute almost $NZ3.2billion into the local economy, as well as generate 30,000 full-time jobs.
The plan is based on six key principles: government guidelines, good hygiene, social distancing, restriction, monitoring and education, and training and resources.
Under this plan, the sharing of equipment and tools will not be permitted, group catering will be minimised, indoor areas are to be avoided, meetings such as drivers’ briefings and media conferences are to be conducted online, and the limitation of personnel; especially those displaying symptoms or anyone who had returned from overseas in the past fortnight.
Spectators will not be permitted as per the strategy.
A dedicated COVID-19 checker will be required at every event to ensure the guidelines are being followed.
Nearly all disciplines have been approved under Level B restrictions (Limit of 10 people with spacing of at least one person per metre) and Level C (Full sporting activity resumes, limited unnecessary gatherings, hygiene measures retained).
Motorsport Australia has sent the document to federal, state and territory governments.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca spoke about the importance of a return to the motor racing, especially for those with full-time employment in the sport.
“Motorsport is unlike any other sport. We certainly believe it’s a low-risk sport when it comes to any potential transmission of COVID-19 given that motorsport is conducted outdoors, usually on a large site area.
“However, that doesn’t mean we can just go back to running events as we previously did. Return to Race clearly outlines all steps our event organisers, officials and competitors should take to make our events as safe as possible based on the framework put forward by the federal government.
“This strategy outlines the importance of avoiding gatherings or meetings, instead using technology such as Zoom to host drivers’ briefings for example. We’re also providing other key steps that event organisers, officials and competitors need to take to ensure everyone’s health and safety, depending on their role.
“While drivers may be ‘cocooned’ in their vehicles when on track or on a stage, there are obviously many other things that need to be considered before an event can go ahead.
“This includes understanding how to manage a busy pit lane, scrutineering and of course our managing officials scattered across an event site who often need to work in small groups.
“The Return to Race document addresses those concerns to ensure event organisers are aware of their responsibilities.”
The Northern Territory will allow motor racing to resume from this Friday, though no returns to competition are locked in, as of yet.
Supercars meanwhile, is expected to unveil its revised 2020 schedule this Friday, with Winton and Townsville suspected to fall by the wayside.