By MITCH RODD
NEXT weekend’s 2020 Australian Sidecar Speedway Championships, set to be held at Mildura’s Olympic Park, have been postponed.
Following a meeting on Monday night, the committee of the Mildura Motorcycle Club, in consultation with Motorcycling Australia (MA), made the unanimous decision to postpone the scheduled title event due to the impact of COVID – 19 virus throughout Australia.
The decision was officially announced on Tuesday by MA, with the club and the governing body looking to find an opportune time to hold the event.
A number of events under the MA banner across all disciplines had already been cancelled or postponed, including this weekend’s FIM Oceania Sidecar Championships at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway.
Mildura Motorcycle Club president, Neale Hancock, said it was a disappointing decision to reach, but the club had to make the necessary decision.
“We had a committee meeting last night and we’ve decided to postpone the event to meet with the protocols being put into place,” he said.
“We’re obviously really disappointed that the meeting won’t go ahead as planned, but under the circumstances we have to do what is necessary.
“It will still be run in the calendar year of 2020, so they will still be the 2020 Championships, however we’ll look to hopefully hold them early in the new season, the later months of this year.”
Hancock said it was going to be too difficult to hold the event in its original schedule to the unknowns and constantly updating developments due to the COVID – 19 virus.
“There are so many unknowns at the moment,” he said. “It could be a huge thing for a month and then everything could die down and fall into place, but no one really knows.
“We’re a member-run not-for-profit organisation that relies on patrons and sponsorships. I mean we could feasibly hold it and keep it to less than 500 people, but that would leave us out of pocket, plus the fact we’d be in trouble if it went over the 500 mark. We can’t afford to stick our neck out in this situation.
“People were coming from as far as Western Australia and Queensland to watch the best sidecar teams in Australia, so it’s disappointing for everyone. But hopefully when we hold it later it will be just as big of an event.”