Novelty Race Event Organiser Leads The Charge To Keep Motorsport Events On Track
Despite the daily infection rate of the more infectious Omicron strain of the COVID-19 Coronavirus now over 1500 and expected to reach as many as 1800 by Saturday, novelty motorsport event organiser Dr Jacob Simonsen says he has no qualms proceeding with plans to run his 2 x 1-day Lemon Squeeze endurance race event/s at the Hampton Downs circuit complex in the northern Waikato this weekend.
“On the contrary,” the Auckland man said this morning. “The very nature of events like ours where – if you like – drivers isolate themselves in their cars while they are out there competing, before effectively quarantining themselves in a closed pit ‘bubble’ until it is their time to get back behind the steering wheel means it would be very hard for any version of the Coronavirus to get traction.
“As such,” said Dr Simonsen, “motor racing has got to be one of – if not THE only – major sport able to legitimately run regular competitive events under the Government’s COVID Protection Framework (Traffic Light System) – particularly the red one we are under right now.”
Prospective entrants have certainly not been slow in showing their support for the new 2 x 1 day weekend “Lemon Squeeze’ event, with 45 teams (of 4 per car) signed on to do the Saturday race, and 35 the one on Sunday. Several ‘Saturday’ teams are also keen on competing in Sunday’s race, guaranteeing full grids for both races, yet complying with all event protocols under the Government’s current (red) COVID Protection Framework, which requires a limit of 100 people per zone at an event and each person to show a valid My Vaccine Pass.
As someone who made a career out of organising major events on both sides of the Tasman Dr Simonsen says he “feels for all the good people currently doing it incredibly hard thanks to …..COVID-19.”
It is for this reason, he added, he has ‘gone the extra mile’ so that his own events can continue….no matter what colour the Government says the COVID-19 Traffic Light should be!
Under the new format the current (red) COVID-19 rules limit gatherings of people outside for events using My Vaccine Pass guidelines to 100 persons per zone.
The simple expedient of splitting the field in two (and allocating up to 50 teams their 8-hour race on Saturday and the other 50 a second 8 hour one on Sunday) was the obvious place to start, he said. Then by splitting the vast Hampton Downs pit area and apron into two self-contained zones housing 25 teams each, each day, Dr Simonsen knew he had come up with a workable solution for this weekend’s events plus other future ones as well.
More information on this weekend’s new Lemon Squeeze NaZCAR/LeMons races can be found on the 24 hours of NaZCAR page on Facebook at facebook.com/NaZCAR