The Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro 560 will not go ahead in 2020 after the Victorian Off Road Racing Association (VORRA) made the call to cancel the national event in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship’s (AORC) penultimate round was scheduled to take place on the final weekend of August, with more than 70 competitors and crews from around the country expected to attend the Victorian event.
In addition to crews and officials, crowds from neighbouring communities were also likely to attend and VORRA President Tony Carabott believed the safety of the town itself was the most important factor behind the cancellation.
“This decision was not made lightly, but we feel it was the right one, especially since there were a number of factors that went into it,” Carabott said.
“With the amount of voluntary work and effort that goes into organising and preparing a national event, the unknown timeline of restriction changes meant we had to make the call now.
“Our members, volunteers, officials, competitors and the Rainbow township are our number one priority when it comes to health and safety.
“It’s a little upsetting but we are not the only ones who have had to make a decision like this, so we are looking forward to a bigger and better event in 2021 when everything has settled down.”
Rainbow is the now the second event on the 2020 AORC calendar to be cancelled as a result of COVID-19, with the Tatts Finke Desert Race making the announcement in March. St George’s season opener was postponed until later this year, with no new date yet confirmed.
However, while Rainbow and Finke are now both off the 2020 calendar, Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith was hopeful a three-round Championship could still go ahead.
“It’s disappointing the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro 560 was cancelled, but we fully respect and support VORRA’s decision,” Smith said.
“Even though we have had some bad luck with two events no longer happening this year, we are confident of putting together a revised three-round championship once the government restrictions are lifted.
“It’s important for us to make sure any events, including AORC events, are abiding by our detailed Return to Race strategy.
“As this is a fluid situation, we will continue working with governments and event organisers to get a revised schedule released as soon as we can, so crews can begin their preparation as soon as possible.”