Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions across Australia, the 2020 Atlantic Oils East Coast Thunder, that was due to be held at Sydney Dragway in early November, has been cancelled.
Sydney Dragway General Manager Peter Beaumont said today, “As much as we were looking forward to hosting this event at our newly re-furbished facility, the current situation surrounding limited spectator numbers and the ever changing regulations around public gatherings has made planning for this event extremely difficult. In 2019 we welcomed a new naming rights partner for this event in Atlantic Oils, and they were excited to grow their presence at the 2020 event. Unfortunately, hosting over 1,000 guests of Atlantic in the current climate is just not feasible and the unclear future of large spectator crowds has driven this decision”.
He continued; “We are working closely with the team from Atlantic Oils to ensure that we maintain a strong relationship, as well as continue to build on what has been an extremely successful and fruitful partnership over the last 18 months”.
Whilst the decision to cancel the event has been difficult, the varying regulations on border closures, and restricted movements across the country, illustrates that it will be sometime before crowds can return without the risks that currently exist.
As the Atlantic Oils East Coast Thunder is part of the 400 Thunder Australian Drag Racing Championship Series, the inability for competitors to attend such events arising from circumstances outside anyone’s control has also created a difficult situation for the 400 Thunder series administrators.
“We absolutely wanted to run this event in Sydney, especially with all the venue upgrades that have taken place during the COVID-19 shutdown” said 400 Thunder General Manager Steve Bettes. “The reality of the situation is that if our competitors cannot get to the venue due to border closures in their home state, then the fairness and integrity of the Series Championship is drawn into question – and that is something that we are not prepared to compromise on”.
We apologise to the fans and racers out there, all of whom were looking forward to the Atlantic Oils East Coast Thunder. We thank you for your understanding in this difficult situation and look forward to seeing you at our future events.
The next round of the 400 Thunder Championship Series is scheduled for January 2021, the New Year’s Thunder at Willowbank Raceway. This, however, is subject to the lifting of a number of COVID-19 restrictions, including travel restrictions and border closures.