The 2020 Supercars season could run into early 2021 in a bid to complete a full championship season amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The series managed to complete one event – the season opener in Adelaide last month – before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the Albert Park cancellation and postponement of the Tasmania, New Zealand and Perth events.
Supercars still harbours ambitions to complete a full 14-event schedule in 2020, with plans already being discussed to replace the cancelled Albert Park event. That would likely mean the return of a circuit left off the 2020 calendar, such as Phillip Island.
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The next event on the calendar is the Winton race weekend, which is scheduled across June 5-7. However, due to the fluidity of the pandemic and ever-changing restrictions laid down by governments – such as border closures – every event from this point onwards remains up in the air.
The 2020 calendar – prior to the pandemic-enforced postponements – featured consistent three-week breaks between events before a six-week layoff for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which have since been postponed to 2021.
With a maximum 13 events expected to be completed, there are 30 weeks – including the schedule Winton weekend – remaining in 2020, although like MotoGP and Formula 1, Supercars is open to seeing this season flow into 2021.
Seamer had previously explained why it was unlikely events couldn’t be television-only – as well as discussing how the 2020 calendar could “adapt” to ongoing changes – but speaking on Fox Sports’ The Loud Pedal podcast, he discussed what steps could be taken in order to restart the current as soon as it is safe to do so.
“The first thing we need to establish is under what conditions could [the Winton event] happen,” he said.
“That’s exactly why we’re so focused on getting an event footprint down as low as possible so we can go TV-only.
“We’re fortunate that our calendar was quite spaced out when we started the year, we had a break for over the Olympics, which aren’t happening. We have a lot of flexibility around July, August, September leading to Bathurst that we wouldn’t normally have.
“We’ve got experience from last year around doing back-to-back rounds… look for us to go back-to-back, look for us to do whatever we have to do to get this year’s championship away.
“That includes going into early next year.”
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A government-imposed restriction on mass gatherings of more than 500 people, and a ban on all non-essential mass gatherings, put paid to Supercars running TV-only events, while border closures – and New Zealand’s travel ban- only exacerbates the issue.
Seamer suggested TV-only events will be part of discussions moving forward, but events would only be feasible to be held at all should government restrictions be relaxed.
“It’s an evolving situation, it feels like it’s been going on for months, but we’re only two weeks into this,” Seamer explained.
“We’re focusing on what we can control, and that is what the world can look like when we come back racing.
“One of the key things that we have to work through is when we see a lessening of restrictions, but the big thing we’re doing to get drivers out on track, is we’re spending a lot of time to assess what our minimum viable product is.
“Unlike a lot of other sports, we need quite a lot of people to execute our races. If you look at team sizes, the number of guys working on each car, the TV crew, the officials, the security… that basic fundamental group pushes us upwards of 500.
“Our team is working really hard to get that number down, so even when we’re dealing with a situation where only 500 people are allowed in one place at one time for an outdoor gathering, but we’re able to cross borders, then we can get going with a TV only product as soon as possible.”