Motorsport is back with WA grassroots

Friday 22 May, 2020
Photos: Action shots from the South West Touring Car Club's Autocrosses.
Motorsport in Australia is officially back this weekend with the first club event to take place since the nation-wide COVID-19 restrictions came into place. 
The South West Touring Car Club will be holding a non-competitive test and tune day at the Bunbury Autocross Circuit in Western Australia and 35 club members are confirmed to take part. 

Club president Graham Miles said the event was excited to be running, but wasn’t doing it to make history.

“We didn’t actually set out to be the first club to run an event post the major COVID-19 restrictions, but an opportunity presented itself where were could do it,” Miles said. 

“It wasn’t until earlier this week we found out we were the only club across Australia with an event this weekend so I must say, it truly is an honour. 

“I have been around motorsport for a long time, both as an official and as a competitor, and it means a lot to me knowing that we’re back.

“It’s awesome and a lot of us are will no longer take motorsport for granted. This two-month break has helped us appreciate motorsport more now.

“When we indicated to our members that the club may be in a position to host an event, the response was really good and we had 30 people join on the spot.” 

Adhering to the latest set of restrictions set in place by the state government, events is only allowed to have 10 people in the space at any one time, meaning the club has implemented a number of precautions, as outlined in Motorsport Australia’s Return to Race strategy.
That includes no in-person drivers’ briefing, each competitor staying in their garage until it’s time for their run and having a dedicated person to register everyone upon arrival. By meeting Motorsport Australia’s and the Western Australian government’s restrictions, the club has done what was needed to get the event over the line.
The club also completed the required Motorsport Australia COVID-19 Event and Venue plan, which highlights an action plan under the Return to Race strategy.
“It was a bit of work but it’s all been ticked off by Motorsport Australia, which is fantastic,” Miles added.
“Along with the WA government’s policy, the Return to Race strategy has helped us put together a solid plan where we can stay safe and run the event smoothly.
“We’re really looking forward to this and making it happen. Hopefully we can get back on the shortly with out bigger events.”
With the first milestone reached in motorsport return to action, Motorsport Australia’s Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Mike Smith was thrilled with what he hoped was the first of many motorsport events to come.
“I’m pleased to see our very first event running this week and hope all the local competitors and event organisers enjoy it,” Smith said. 
“As we all know, it’s been very trying times over the past few months, so hopefully it means there is a bit of light and the end of the tunnel and we can get to more grassroot events up and running in line with any local restrictions, and of course our Return to Race strategy. 
“As restrictions begin to ease, we encourage clubs to start looking at ways they can return and we are certainly here to help ensure all the appropriate precautions are in place.”
The South West Touring Car Club’s Test and Tune day will take place at Bunbury Autocross Circuit on Saturday, 23 May. 
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Motorsport Australia: Return to Race