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Friday critical for Townsville Supercars event

Friday is looming as a deadline of sorts for Supercars to make a call on its upcoming Townsville round to ensure the Melbourne teams have time to travel north if needed.

Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

A number of the Melbourne teams have indicated to Motorsport.com that a clear direction on the Townsville 500 is required by the end of this week.

If the event is going ahead, transporters could then leave over the weekend for the four-day trip from Melbourne to far north Queensland.

Kelly Grove Racing, Team 18, Erebus Motorsport, Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United and the Blanchard Racing Team are all based in Melbourne. BRT, however, already has its transporter in Townsville, having opted to not return to base after Darwin.

Townsville went into a snap three-day lockdown yesterday evening along with south east Queensland, after a positive COVID-19 case travelled from Brisbane to popular northern holiday spot Magnetic Island.

That's cast significant doubt over the July 9-11 Townsville 500, particularly as Victoria has since added Townsville to its red zone list.

Should it stay on the red zone list until July 11 the six Melbourne-based teams would be forced into a two-week quarantine upon returning home.

There was some promising news out of Queensland this morning, however, with all three new community cases having been in isolation throughout their infectious period.

That's given hope to the lockdown ending on Friday as scheduled, which would then leave the Townsville 500 in the hands of the Victorian state government and its border rules.

Meanwhile there is speculation that one option to ensure Townsville will go ahead is to turn the event into a double-header.

That would create more time for the Victorian border to open, or at the very least make quarantine a more viable outcome given it would help facilitate two events.

It's not unprecedented, the Reid Park circuit having hosted a pair of back-to-back rounds as part of the truncated 2020 campaign.

The Supercars Commission is set to meet later today.

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