Due to the ongoing border restrictions in Australia in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the TCR Australia round at Sandown has been cancelled and replaced by a double header event at The Bend Motorsport Park.
It marks yet another change for the Australian tin top series, which had already had to cancel a planned début at Morgan Park Raceway earlier in the year.
The double header will take place on 15 – 17 October along with the GT World Challenge, Touring Car Masters and National Trans Am Series.
Race formats and the event schedule will be confirmed in due course, although the format for the headline GT event will not change.
“Having to drop Sandown from the calendar of our categories was one of the hardest decisions that we have had to make during these recent times,” said Australian Racing Group CEO Matt Braid.
“We feel for fans of our categories who have been anticipating a return to racing at the Melbourne.
“However, the creation of a ‘two-in-one’ race meeting at Tailem Bend is going to be one of the most exciting race weekends that Australian motorsport fans have seen in some time.
“Whether watching at home on the Seven Network or at the track, there will be will non-stop racing action from our top-class categories over the entire weekend.
“It will also be fascinating to see how the teams and drivers deal with the packed race schedule, and it will be great to watch it all unfold at The Bend in October.”
Mike Smith, Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations, Motorsport Australia, said that the decision had to be made due to the probability of lockdown measures being extended in Australia.
“We know how popular the Sandown round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships can be, with huge crowds attending the Victorian event in recent years,” added Smith.
“Unfortunately, with the Victorian lockdown looking like extending in to September, we have been forced to make the call on this event now for the certainty of fans, competitors and our sponsors.
“We’ve worked closely with the Melbourne Racing Club over recent months and thank them for their efforts in trying to make this event a reality.
“That said, we’re absolutely thrilled to be heading to The Bend for a massive fortnight of motorsport in October.
“With back-to-back weekends of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships alongside the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship and the Kincrome SXS Motorsport Australia Championship also featuring, it promises to be two events that cannot be missed.
“I’d like to thank our competitors and category managers for their ongoing support and flexibility throughout 2021, as well as our sponsors who have been extremely supportive of these changes and the Championships more broadly.”