Brakes hit on CQ’S ‘best motorsport event’
FANS of motorsport have been dealt a significant blow after the CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint event was this week called off.
While the unfortunate news may not come as a surprise given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is nonetheless disappointing for the event’s legion of followers.
The announcement was made through the event’s official Facebook page, noting that due to Federal Government restrictions surrounding social gatherings the event would be postponed until 2021.
Course Sprint Clerk Craig Jervis admitted the committee held out postponing the event as long as they could, however with the July 11-12 date nearing it became obvious a decision needed to be made.
“The way that all the new restrictions have been placed on everyone to try and curb the coronavirus, well it’s obviously affected our event and the affiliated industries,” Mr Jervis said.
“We’re all sad because we’ve lost the event until next year, but at the same time we’re all happy with the decision as we recognise that’s what is needed to try beat the outbreak.”
The option of moving the event to a later date this year would however prove difficult, Mr Jervis said, given the unprecedented nature and duration of COVID-19.
“There’s just too many variables to reschedule for this year,” he said.
“The nature of the event is the biggest issue for us as we have to close the Burnett Hwy.
“There’s a lot of logistics, a lot of paperwork and permits with the Department of Main Roads and Queensland Police, which takes three to four months.”
“It’s not really a matter of saying we’ll postpone it when we can’t even confirm a date. Nothing can be guaranteed.”
While the Central Queensland Motor Sporting Club has also closed temporarily, its committee is hard at work in preparation for next year’s event – with major plans to extend the 2km sprint out to 3km.
“We’re moving forward. We’re talking about and focusing on 2021,” Mr Jervis said.
“ The idea now is that we’re going to come back bigger and better.
“It’s been a priority of the club for a while now to try and get to 3km.”
While only in its third year, Hill Sprint has already fostered a well-respected reputation among the Australia’s motorsports community.
Just last year it was awarded Central Queensland’s Best Motorsport Event which Mr Jervis said undoubtedly contributed to this year’s large number of interested attendees.
“We had our biggest roll call ever. Nearly 270 people wanted to attend our event from all over the country from most states,” Mr Jervis said.
“Half the country was coming to Rockhampton for our event.
“It’s a damn shame to postpone it but we must do our part for the world too.
“The sooner we do that, the sooner we get back to the norm.”