Aussie motorsport fans are likely not over last week’s cancellation of the Formula One season opener in Albert Park and today’s news headline only adds salt to the still-tender wound, we imagine. However, given the viral pandemic that is going around, it wasn’t surprising that the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship (yes, that is its full name) binned the upcoming three races in its roster.
After running the 2020 season opener in Adelaide, Supercars were supposed to race in Albert Park for the Melbourne 400, but we all know how that turned out. Thereafter, organisers were forced to postpone the next three races, including ones in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth. The announcement follows the shutdown of all non-essential services by the government as coronavirus cases spiral.
“Obviously, the situation is evolving, but we acknowledge the need to act decisively with the information we have at hand. Our sport is a visceral experience and rather than run without crowds, we have decided, along with our key broadcast and government partners, to delay any further racing until June” said Sean Seamer, Supercars CEO.
Although replacement dates have yet to be locked in, Seamer is adamant at delivering “a complete championship” which comprises 14 rounds for the 2020 championship.
However, the postponement of the three abovementioned rounds has caused Supercars to think along the same lines as Formula One. The pinnacle of motorsports ‘held’ the Bahrain Grand Prix, virtually. While it’s a blow to diehard fans such as this author, it does give the sport some room to grow while keeping other fans engaged. Supercars are merely following in Formula One’s footsteps.
Seamer confirmed plans for an Eseries competition to be run during the gap. At press time, the entire “suite of Virgin Australia Supercars Championship drivers have confirmed they will race in the upcoming Supercars All Stars Eseries” claimed the organisers.
The competition will be run using the iRacing platform and will be broadcasted live via Fox Sports and Kayo and streamed live via Twitch, beginning April 8th and will be run for around 10 weeks.
Elsewhere within the Supercar sphere, is news from team Walkinshaw Andretti United. Team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw has offered up his company’s expertise to manufacture emergency medical equipment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The company says their 3D printing capability can be used in the manufacturing of ventilators. All they need are the blueprints.
While on the subject, other automotive manufacturers are saying the same thing as Walkinshaw. Most of these companies have 3D printing technology, which they use to make prototype car parts from high-strength plastic. The same tech can be used to make ventilators, in a fraction of the time. The only drawback is that the finished product will have limited use before being discarded.