The Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) and its sanctioning body, the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA) will reach a significant milestone in August, visiting Melbourne’s Sandown International Raceway for the first time.
The Sandown race meeting, which will be held on 28-30 August, forms part of an expanded 2020 AMRS calendar that now stretches to six rounds. The Sandown round will feature a mixture of state and national categories including Porsche 944 Challenge, Circuit Excel Series and Formula Ford, with others to be announced soon.
According to AMRS Series Manager Matt Baragwanath, the chance to host an AMRS event at Sandown came about due to a vacancy arising at the venue.
“Sandown has always been on our wish-list of venues, but up until now it hasn’t been possible for us to race there due to the restrictions on the number of race meetings it can hold each year,” Mr Baragwanath said.
“When a weekend became available, I contacted (circuit owners) the Melbourne Racing Club, and we were able to secure a date that worked in with our existing events; we’re very appreciative of the MRC recognising our ability to deliver a safe and enjoyable race meeting.
“The response from competitors and categories wanting to be part of our Sandown race meeting has been overwhelming; racing at such an iconic venue will be a momentous occasion for the AMRS.
“While we acknowledge the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, this event is still almost two months away; we’ll be implementing the necessary procedures and protocols to ensure we comply with government directives and competitors can race in a healthy environment.”
Significantly, the Sandown AMRS round will also be the first race meeting to be sanctioned by the AASA at the Springvale circuit, which opened in 1962 and has hosted a range of high-profile endurance events including the Australian Grand Prix, the Sandown 500 in its various guises and a round of the World Endurance Championship in 1984.
AASA Business Development Manager Stephen Whyte said the Sandown race meeting highlights the importance of AMRS as a national circuit racing platform.
“As a national circuit racing series, the AMRS has been a vehicle for AASA to extend our footprint to venues across Australia, and to be able to sanction an event at such a historically significant track as Sandown is a fantastic breakthrough,” Mr Whyte said.
“At the AASA, our mission has always been about facilitating the ability for competitors to race affordably and safely. Being able to allow our customers to race at prestigious circuits such as Sandown is instrumental in us expanding our reach.
“Sandown is constantly striving for safety improvements; working with these kinds of world-class venues is something we’re keen to do on a more regular basis.”
Benalla Auto Club Group CEO Chris Lewis-Williams said the Sandown event will allow two of the BAC Group’s companies to demonstrate their capabilities.
“On the one hand, our events business unit, the AMRS, will control the operation and promotion of the race meeting,” Mr Lewis-Williams said.
“At the same time, our motorsport insurance and sanctioning business unit, the AASA, will be able to showcase how easy we make it for competitors to hit the track, while adhering to internationally-recognised safety standards.
“It’s a landmark occasion for the AMRS, the AASA and the Benalla Auto Club and I congratulate Matt, Stephen and their respective teams for executing this project.”
2020 AMRS Calendar
Round 1 – Winton Motor Raceway, 28 February-1 March
Round 2 – Winton Motor Raceway, 31 July-2 August
Round 3 – Sandown International Raceway, 28-30 August
Round 4 – Sydney Motorsport Park, 25-27 September
Round 5 – Queensland Raceway, 23-25 October
Round 6 – The Bend Motorsport Park, 4-6 December