The great racing is still on - and Supercars is set return to Auckland this season, albeit much later than intended.
Amid all the terrible news for sport because of Covid-19 lockdowns, Supercars has announced an almost full championship season will resume in Sydney - in front of empty stands - in late June.
Kiwi superstar Scott McLaughlin, the defending champion, and his fellow racers will head across the ditch to race the Auckland Super400 on January 9 and 10.
Auckland was to have hosted the fourth round last month in a 14-event championship. It will now be the 11th and penultimate race before Supercars heads to a new finale at the home of Bathurst.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development General Manager Destination Steve Armitage said the later date allows for a greater chance of the Auckland event going ahead, as there are still some complications to work through.
"Our preference was to try and position Auckland as late as possible given the complexity of the trans-tasman bubble – hopefully that comes to fruition in order to make this happen – but also because we needed some time to understand our financial position," he told NZME.
"The reality is Auckland Council is coming under significant financial pressure. The city's got a lot of other pressures that need to be worked through as a result of Covid-19, so we're appreciative that we're not necessarily at the front of the queue in terms of priority. There's plenty of water to go under the bridge.
"The fact that we were able to move it to January gives us a level of comfort but we'll have to wait and see how things progress, and what the health and safety requirements are."
It is yet to be confirmed if the Auckland 400 will remain at Hampton Downs or return to Pukekohe, though Armitage said Pukekohe would be the "logical preference".
After the opening Adelaide round, Supercars joined the lockdown and the cancelled Melbourne race, plus the Gold Coast and Newcastle street events, will be permanent victims of the virus crisis.
But 11 more rounds will be raced including the four-day Bathurst 1000 in October, one of two events at Mt Panorama in the re-jigged season.There are some changed dates and Sydney will now be raced in daylight.
Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said the plans were subject to change, because of Covid-19.
"This is a fixed stake in the ground (but) we all need to be flexible on how much racing we can and can't do over the coming eight months," he said.
"We looked at everything. We looked at bubble concepts, we looked at back-to-back rounds.
"But the calendar has been formulated in such a way that we've been able to maintain the spacing between the rounds, for both medical and cost reasons.
"We believe it allows us to maintain our national footprint, which is really important to us."
The re-start in Sydney will be a TV-only event but there is the possibility of campgrounds being open at Bathurst and Winton.
The season-ending Bathurst race will not mimic the famous Bathurst 1000.
"There's tremendous opportunity going to Bathurst a second time, but tremendous risk as well. So we're going to be innovative and make sure it's different."
Revised 2020 Australia Supercars Championship
June 27-28: Sydney
July 18-19: Winton
August 8-9: Darwin
August 29-30: Townsville
September 19-20: South Australia
October 8-11: Bathurst 1000
October 31-November 1: Perth
November 21-22: Tasmania
December 12-13: Sandown
January 9-10: Auckland
February 5-7: Bathurst