Teams urged to be cautious for Sydney Supercars swing

Supercars is urging its teams to be cautious away from the track during the upcoming Sydney swing due to the ongoing COVID-19 circulation in the city.

Teams urged to be cautious for Sydney Supercars swing

Sydney has become the first major Australian city to transition to living with COVID, the new strategy replacing earlier elimination efforts due to increasing vaccination coverage.

While case numbers in Sydney have remained stable since the city emerged from its months-long lockdown on October 11, health officials have openly said there is an expectation that those figures will rise now the city is open.

All 11 Supercars teams will arrive in the Harbour City next week to kick off a six-week swing that will include the final five events of the season.

Four of those will be at Sydney Motorsport Park in Western Sydney – an area that was hard hit by the recent Sydney outbreak – followed by the season finale in Bathurst in regional NSW.

While there is a vaccination requirement for anybody attending SMP over the quadruple-header, that in itself is no guarantee that there won't be an outbreak in the paddock during the Sydney swing given there is virus circulating in the community.

Motorsport.com understands Supercars has been in contact with teams in recent days to suggest a cautious approach to their activities away from the track during the stay in Western Sydney, to limit the chances of virus exposure.

According to one source the suggestions are mostly "common sense", such as avoiding large crowds.

The Melbourne-based teams will also be subject to a formal stay-at-home order until November 1, when NSW is expected to lift its entry requirement for new arrivals from the southern state.

However even under the stay-at-home order staff and drivers will be able to travel to their place of work, which in this case is the circuit.

Melbourne, which emerged from lockdown last night after hitting 70 per cent vaccination, is currently the city worst affected by the virus, recording 2189 positive cases in the past 24 hours.

A number of teams were already planning a bubble-approach to the four weeks in Western Sydney, including Queensland-based Matt Stone Racing.

"We don’t want to put our staff and our team in harm’s way," team owner Matt Stone told the Parked Up podcast earlier this week.

"We’re essentially moving down there and going into our own little lockdown, which I guess is a bit ironic coming from unlocked Queensland. We’re going down to New South Wales and locking ourselves down when they all come out of it.

“But the other real factor to consider is with these races being so close together, if someone in pitlane, not necessarily our team, was to be unfortunate enough to contract COVID, there would be two weeks of quarantine plus however long they have the virus for.

“You could potentially miss the rest of the season, and if that person were to come into contact with our team and we all got put into isolation, we could miss rounds.

“So it’s very serious to the category, I feel. If COVID were to get into one of the teams, that team could be out for the rest of the year."

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