Ten Supercars teams now in lockdown

Ten of the 11 Supercars teams are in lockdown as of today as COVID-19 outbreaks continue to disrupt life on the east coast of Australia.

Victoria was sent back into its sixth lockdown of the pandemic yesterday evening thanks to a handful of mystery cases – ie cases without a clear link to an existing outbreak – that appeared yesterday afternoon.

Those cases were confirmed just hours after the state recorded zero cases for the previous 24-hour period, while this latest lockdown started a little over a week after the last one ended.

The seven-day lockdown affects staff from six Supercars teams – Walkinshaw Andretti United, Team 18, Erebus Motorsport, Kelly Grove Racing, the Blanchard Racing Team and Tickford Racing.

Victoria has recorded a further six positive cases today.

The fresh lockdown is a concern for Supercars not just because of the immediate impact on Melbourne-based teams, but because Victoria is set to host two rounds immediately following the extended winter break.

The revised schedule kicks off with the Winton SuperSprint on October 2-3 followed by the Phillip Island SuperSprint on October 22-24.

With south-east Queensland also in lockdown until at least this Sunday, 10 Supercars teams are currently affected by stay-at-home orders.

Dick Johnson Racing, Triple Eight and Matt Stone Racing are all permanently based in south east Queensland, while Team Sydney is using its Gold Coast facilities to avoid getting stuck in Sydney, which is currently worst affected by any part of Australia.

There was good news from Queensland, though, with just 10 new cases today, eight of which were isolating during their infectious period.

That's left health officials confident the lockdown could end on Sunday as planned.

The Sydney situation, however, continues to worsen. The New South Wales capital recorded an outbreak-high 291 cases today to continue a worrying upwards trend despite the city being locked down.

The stubbornness of the virus in the Harbour City, and the corresponding border restrictions that largely affect the state as a whole, continue to cast doubt on whether even the proposed November events in NSW – namely the Bathurst 1000 (November 4-7) and the Sydney SuperNight (November 19-21) – will be possible.

Brad Jones Racing, which is based in regional NSW, is currently the only Supercars team not technically in lockdown, although it is restricted in its movement due to a raft of blanket border closures to NSW.

Professional sporting teams in Australia have had some leeway in terms of lockdowns throughout the pandemic, which means not all of the affected Supercars teams will necessarily have their doors closed.

However the extended winter break means staffing levels are likely to be lower than normal anyway.

The bigger issue for the affected teams and staff is travel restrictions, however there is at least time on their side thanks to the revised schedule.

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