Bathurst International date still "set in stone"
The 2020 Bathurst International date remains "set in stone", although organisers are resigned to very little overseas participation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With COVID-19 case numbers dropping in Australia and talks of virus-related restrictions easing, Australian Racing Group is currently working on a revised schedule for the 2020 TCR Australia and S5000 seasons.
While wholesale changes to the schedule are inevitable, with the first four rounds already postponed, there's one date that won't be changing – the Bathurst International.
ARG is adamant the brand new event, which will also play host to the postponed Bathurst 6 Hour, will take place on the November 13-15 weekend – with or without spectators.
"When we are juggling the calendar around, the one thing that's set in stone is the Bathurst International and the 6 Hour in mid-November," confirmed ARG boss Matt Braid.
"That's definitely going forward in whatever capacity we can arrange it, crowd-wise or not.
"Ideally by that stage we're hoping to see some spectators back, but we don't know. Either way we'll be going at that event."
What will be missing is the international flavour to the event.
The centrepiece of the weekend will be a two-driver, 500-kilometre TCR endurance race, which ARG had originally hoped would bring teams and drivers from around the globe to Mount Panorama.
A deal had also been struck for Rubens Barrichello to make his Bathurst debut in the S5000 races.
However the coronavirus pandemic has likely put paid to all of that.
"The only difference for us is that the international flavour of the event will be significantly hampered by the virus," said Braid.
"The likelihood of having teams and cars coming from Europe, for example, is highly unlikely at this stage.
"There might be scope for cars and drivers for all categories to come via New Zealand. That's probably most logical.
"And if by chance, through border restrictions and people's ability to fly, we might see some international drivers compete in some of those categories as well.
"But it won't be to the extent that we originally aimed for with the international event."
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