COUNCILLOR Ian North is grateful that the Bathurst 12 Hour has only been postponed, not cancelled, stressing the importance of the event for the region.
Supercars announced on Friday that the GT racing event had been moved from late February to mid May in response to the latest surge of COVID-19 cases globally.
The event organiser hopes that by changing the dates it will alleviate "pressure on international competitors and freight operators as well as marshals, officials and volunteers".
It's another blow for the international event, which was cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Cr North was disappointed the event had to be cancelled, but supports the reasoning behind the decision.
"It is an important part of the fabric of Bathurst that we've built up over many years," he said.
"To be honest, health and safety is the important thing, and at least we can say it's postponed, not a cancellation, and they're setting a new date.
"Hopefully, with greater vaccination rates and better understanding of Omicron that come May we're in a better position."
He is somewhat concerned though that the situation might not have improved enough by May 13 and the event could be cancelled altogether.
If that were to occur, it would have a huge impact on businesses in Bathurst.
They have already been hurt by lockdowns in their community, tourism bans and surging case numbers, making it "vitally important" that the 12 Hour goes ahead later this year.
"When you see places like The George [Hotel] - it's had to close for the entire week because of staff issues - we've got to help our businesses get back on track," Cr North said.
"These sort of events are bringing big money to the community and give great support, but also make people feel good to see them enjoying themselves."
The 12 Hour is scheduled to run from May 13 to 15.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS calendar will also be altered to accommodate the date change.
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