The opening round of the TCR Australia and S5000 campaigns have hit yet another roadblock with the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne forcing series promoters to delay the start of the season again.
Both categories were set to have their 2020 campaigns kick off next month at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Despite SMP being in New South Wales, the border closure with Victoria has meant teams based outside the state cannot travel across the border to contest the opening round.
The revised season-opener is set to occur on September 4-6 but series organisers are not ruling out further delays if Victoria continues to battle the pandemic.
New Zealand Toyota 86 regular and title protagonist Jaden Ransley is now in a unique position with the opening TCR Australia round and 86 finale scheduled for the same weekend on both sides of the Tasman.
The Christchurch-based racer has voiced his ambitions to land a drive in the Australian series with an announcement on his future expected to be revealed over the coming weeks.
“We were hoping that the August date would be possible, however with a large number of teams Victorian-based and unable to travel freely between New South Wales and Victoria, we felt the only option was for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships to take place on the first weekend in September,” said Motorsport Australia Championships director Michael Smith.
“Opening our season at Sydney Motorsport Park is certainly an exciting prospect and we know that this new date will be upon us very soon. Ultimately, we all want to go racing as soon as we can.
“We know this year is one that is very fluid and we are greatly appreciative of the support of all our categories and circuit managers for their flexibility and understanding.”
ARG boss Matt Braid admitted both categories will have to be flexible in an ever-evolving world with dates pencilled in currently on the calendar all subject to change.
“The current coronavirus crisis is unprecedented and we have to remain flexible in how we adapt to the ongoing impact on our return to race plan.
“As we’ve seen the situation in Victoria develop over the past few days, and considering the many affected teams, moving the date back was the best outcome for all.
“We’re excited that we have a new date for Sydney and working hard to get the clearest possible direction for our categories.”