Replacement Date Announced for Phillip Island Opener

Photo: GTWC Australia

A replacement date has been set for the opening round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS after original plans were overturned by a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.

Victoria was forced into lockdown on Friday amidst a rise in cases triggering organizers to postpone the event, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 18-21.

Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships (SMAC) and Australian Racing Group (ARG) have locked in a revised date for Mar. 12-14.

It will see the opening round of the new-for-2021 GTWC Australia series as well as TCR Australia, S5000, and other domestic categories.

However, the idea of the Australian All Wheels Race Fest, which was to see two and four-wheel racing at the same event has been benched, with the new date presenting a schedule clash for the Australian Superbike Championship.

“We’re really pleased to confirm this new date for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and also to be able to secure a new date so quickly,” said SMAC director Michael Smith.

“I’d like to thank the team at Phillip Island for their flexibility and support, allowing us to put this event on in March.

“Motorsport Australia is in regular dialogue with the Victorian Government about this event and will certainly work to deliver a COVID-safe event in line with all restrictions and requirements that may be in place at the time.”

Details on whether spectators will be able to attend will be confirmed closer to the event, with Smith stating they ‘hope to welcome fans to the new event.’

As per existing contracts, the action will be televised on the Seven Network in Australia and Sky Sport in New Zealand.

“To secure a replacement date just weeks after the original intended date is an excellent result for the Australian Racing Group’s suite of categories,” added Matt Braid, ARG CEO.

“There was simply no way that we could have proceeded with our original event this weekend, which was disappointing, but we are grateful to our competitors and sponsors of their understanding during these times.

The second round of GTWC Australia is still scheduled for Apr 3-4 at Bathurst.

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