Australian GP still a go despite ferocious bushfires
The Australian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite raging bushfires destroying major parts of the country, according to Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott.
Over the past month, fires throughout the country have devastated rural areas and killed millions of animals, with firefighters and volunteers working tirelessly to try and beat back the ferocious flames.
Even though not particularly important in the grand scheme of things, the Australian GP in March is set to go ahead, with it far away enough in Melbourne to remain safe, with air quality the only concern for the moment with regards to the race.
“Melbourne itself isn’t impacted by the fires, they’re very much to the east, 200 to 300 kilometres away at least,” Westacott told Press Association.
“It’s really centred upon the changing wind conditions that forces a degradation of air quality.
“But I wouldn’t expect that at this stage, and one doesn’t know what’s going to pan out over two months, that given the incidences of where the fires are, it will impact the Formula One grand prix.
“With the timing of our event two months away, we are treating it as business as usual.
“But here and now, very much like all Australians, we are just thinking of the people who are fighting the fires, who have lost houses, have had to be evacuated because of this disaster.”
Westacott went on to say that another priority is to provide support for everyone affected by the fires, whether that monetary or simply providing an escape from the aftermath.
“Our first priority, like everyone in Australia, is seeing what we can do to help, to lend love, support and best wishes and resources, and one of the main resources tends to be financial support,” he added.
“What we’re conscious of doing is marshalling the collective support of the motoring communities, who are so generous nationally and around the world.
“We’re looking to see that if anyone wants to provide support to those impacted, then we can have a centralised approach that calls on the motorsport fans to give generously, and that’s what we’re working towards at the moment.
“For the people who are fighting the fires, we need to ensure that everyone is supporting them, and for those affected, who have perhaps lost a source of income, their farming assets or their home, we need to be able to make sure we can give them some joy.
“Yes, we can be a source for praising and recognising the efforts of those involved helping to fight the fires, and we can also be an outlet for people to perhaps get some respite after what have been some very tough and traumatic times.”
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