Organizers of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour have moved to ease concerns of any threat to the 2020 event as catastrophic bushfires ravage New South Wales.
Much of southeast Australia is facing a bushfire crisis, one of the worst fire seasons in history, with an estimated 6.3 million hectares burned, 2,500 buildings destroyed and 25 people killed as of Monday.
Most of the fires have been burning since November following record-breaking temperatures and a prolonged drought which exacerbated the annual bushfire season.
The ongoing fires have heavily impacted various regions of NSW, including the Blue Mountains, which is between Sydney and Bathurst, and continue to rage out of control in some parts.
Smoke has enveloped much of the state, however, the situation in the Blue Mountains has eased, with the NSW Rural Fire Service downgrading the fires in the region to ‘Advice’ level.
Event organizers issued a statement on Monday assuring that “there is presently no impact on the event” as a result of the bushfires and that the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season opener “will continue as planned”.
Furthermore, it confirmed that at present there are “no restrictions” in accessing the Bathurst region from Sydney.
Organizers are working closely with the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Government, and the Bathurst Regional Council to monitor the situation and will communicate any changes.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is also working on a coordinated fund-raising effort, with a number of international entrants having inquired about ways to support those affected by the bushfires.
Details on the fundraiser will be announced in the coming weeks.