June 13, 2021

Supercars border dash ends early

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As first revealed by Motorsport.com, Triple Eight, Dick Johnson Racing and Matt Stone Race all fled the Sunshine State last week due to a pair of COVID clusters.

The small spike in cases led to a snap three-day lockdown in Brisbane while a number of other states closed their borders to either the Queensland capital or the state itself.

Among them was Tasmania, which slapped a hard border on the affected local government areas that would have made it impossible for Brisbane-based T8 to get into the state for next weekend’s Symmons Plains round.

There was also the risk the virus spread would grow to the Gold Coast and DJR and MSR would be directly affected.

As a result all three teams moved to New South Wales and the Symmons event was pushed back a week to create a two-week buffer to avoid any border hassles.

However the Brisbane cluster appear to have since been stamped out, Queensland having not reported a locally-acquired case for three days.

As a result Tasmania has scaled its border controls back to specific premises, allowing the Queensland teams to return home as they continue preparations for the trip to Tasmania.

The return will be a welcome one for the three teams who were bracing to be on the road until mid-May had the outbreak grew.

It’s also a significant win for series leader Shane van Gisbergen, who can continue hyperbaric treatment on his broken collarbone and ribs and has an additional week of recovery before tackling the bumpy Launceston circuit.

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Like all Australian sports, Supercars has spent the past year dealing with strict – and largely inconsistent – internal border controls as the country has kept a tight grip on the virus.

The Victoria-based teams spent more than 100 days on the road last season as Melbourne battled its deadly outbreak.

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