Since the ORCi last met on March 17th to discuss the Cornovirus Pandemic following which it made it's announcement, following Government advice to 'suspend' the 2020 season until further notice, promoters within the ORCi and various associations, have been in regular communication monitoring the unfolding picture and sharing ideas as how to 'restart' the season once that opportunity may arise.
The ORCi has accelerated the process in recent weeks in terms of registering our sport with Government departments and advisors enabling us obtain the maximum information and stepping stones for us to be prepared for resuming oval racing as and when guidance allows.
Our primary concern remains the safety and well being of our staff, competitors and race fans and continuing our full support for our NHS and frontline personnel who continue to work on behalf of all of us.
This is paramount and only when our government and it's scientific advisors agree it's safe can a planned resumption be considered and planned.
ORCi Directors held a lengthy video conference meeting on Friday 8th May in a new setting which was hugely productive and successful. The Agenda and discussions allowed detailed information to be shared and discussion surrounding plans to return for practice and thereafter full events when it is permissible to do so. ORCi are fully engaged with HSE and government agencies on an almost daily basis to ascertain the latest position.
Unfortunately, whilst 'planning' is under discussion in how this may be effected, there is no clear visibility as to a timeline other than intelligence based upon the Government 'unlock' ideas which are expected to be announced on Sunday 10th May. Most information points towards a mid/late summer consideration of a possible return however speculation as to 'when' is unhelpful as, we all can also view media and the caveot on everything will be feedback as life slowly returns to normal with regards infection rates and other variables. Akin to everyone else, neither do we wish a second peak of Covid 19 or put all in our family at any risk whatsoever.
The agenda for Directors was comprehensive discussing the many scenarios of insurance, Health & Safety and potential risk assessments that may well be required enabling detailed planning to progress. Operational matters such as fixtures and various formulae were also touched upon albeit more detailed discussion deferred until we have more accurate timing to accelerate planning.
The meeting was encouragingly productive with a unison amongst Directors on matters discussed and full co-operation as to how we move forward for the benefit of all in our community. Promoters have come together under these discussions with the aim of protecting our sport as a whole, moving forward and our people. Whilst much was discussed planning and preparation wise, until we have further guidance and clarity, it will only be relevant to publicise them as and when things become more certain as those discussions will need further review and update.
From promoters to drivers, our staff and fans, for many these are tragic times and of course challenging times economically as Oval race promoters have exactly the same issues as everyone else and clearly wish to resume operating as soon as possible - however all are unified, when it is safe to do so.
However, we hope all are reassured that promoters are committed to a resumption of the sport as and when it is permitted and planning for that timeline to become more clear.
Promoters will continue to dialogue and receive information almost daily and from that a plan will be evolved and, of course anything that confirms a return date will be announced as and when possible and, based upon that guidance we will inform you of that plan and any potential requirements for our resumption.
Whilst this will continue to be reviewed, ORCi directors have scheduled a further formal meeting in three weeks time to reconvene after which we will publish a further statement with any relevant information. However, should there be an accelerated scientific view that enables a return earlier than predicted, then of course we will work within that and inform you accordingly.
Please be assured, promoters are preparing as much as you are for a resumption without exception and whilst we are currently 'paused' most are working at their venues if only undertaking routine things such as maintenance that are vital to ensure we can come back quickly when the time arises and 'mending the roof whilst the sun shines'
In the interim, whilst we might see some slight relaxations in the coming days, we urge you to follow the governments advice and keep yourselves safe and of course families and friends and 'keep in touch'
ORCi Chairman / for an behalf ORCi