At least we have motorsport up and running in the US, Europe, Australia and this coming weekend in Japan. The reopening of the many parts of the world is juxtaposed with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, often with a second wave starting to hit. One cannot dismiss that some of the motorsport categories that are now underway could well become casualties before the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer season of racing.
F1 Hungaroring hurdle
This weekend we have the third consecutive Formula One Grand Prix but this time it takes place in Hungary. It is not going to be straight forward for the 2,000 or so F1 people staying in Budapest with more stringent rules compared with the last two weeks in Austria (picture Julie Andrews singing Edelweiss in the Rogers and Hammerstin musical ‘The Sound of Music’).
Hungary has just recently introduced more requirements for non-European Union citizens which includes British subjects (i.e. a high percentage of F1 personnel), who will now have to be confined within the circuit and their hotel. This also includes the inability to eat out and the use of public transport. Do this and you could face a $17k euro fine or prison. Next up will be two Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit in Great Britain in a fortnight’s time.
Over in Australia
It’s all go in Victoria with their Chief Health Officer warning that the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases could see at least 2,000 people requiring hospital care in the near future. The State has recorded ten days in a row of three digit cases, all international flights to Melbourne have been diverted and Police are issuing heavy fines for restriction breaches (Two people on a late-night KFC run in Melbourne led police to a backyard birthday party, where they fined 16 people for breaking Covid-19 restrictions). Now we have five million Victorians’ in Lockdown level three for the next six-weeks.
Last week we saw a mad rush from Supercars teams getting out of Victoria before they closed the borders.
Speedcafe.com yesterday reported that Super2 and Super3 teams were forced to find alternative accommodation after the hotel they were set to stay in near the Sydney Motorsport Park reported a positive Covid-19 case. Speedcafe has also speculated that Wakefield Park is in New South Wales is attempting to attain a FIA licence allowing it to become an option for Supercars 2020 calendar. Supercars has also confirmed that there will be no general admission for this weekend’s Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint, with limited grandstand tickets only available for racing on Sunday.
Of the total of 10,250 cases in Australia so far, the majority, 7,729, have occurred in either NSW or Victoria, with another 1,071 in Queensland. As of the 14 July, one new case has been reported in WA, 13 in NSW, 270 in Victoria and zero in NT, QLD, SA and Tasmania.
In the USA
It is difficult to connect and relate to the headlines coming out of the USA at the moment. Our Talkmotorsport columnist Jonathan Green is in the thick of it, living in the hotspot of Austin, Texas. He’s just back from Minnesota and the latest TA2 round but reports that it is pretty dire and is a real worry.
It seems as though it is inevitable that some categories may fall apart before their winter.
And in NZ
The lack of communication regarding the summer series calendar is almost deafening. Expect the unexpected!