With one of two Victoria Park races and the whole Loxton event scrapped, Tailem Bend will host two pedal prix races for the first time.
Australian International Pedal Prix (AIPP) announced the provisional calendar for the 2021 UniSA Australian Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Super Series after a year of no racing due to COVID-19.
The Bend Motorsport Park will be home to two new events, as it allowed for greater flexibility in terms of spatial density, controllable and varied designated areas, and circuit options.
The six rounds of racing to take place over the year are:
- Round 1 - McNamara Park, Mount Gambier, March 27
- Round 2 - The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, May 23
- Round 3 - Victoria Park, Adelaide, June 20
- Round 4 - The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, July 31
- Round 5 - Jetty Foreshore, Busselton WA, August 15
- Round 6 - Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, September 12
AIPP chairman Andrew McLachlan was keen to see racing underway in 2021 after COVID-19 stopped the series in its tracks.
"Just as we were preparing to launch the season, the threat of the virus was upon us, and try as we did, it never became manageable and safe enough to conduct our events," he said.
"In the interests of our community, it was critical we adhered to government advise and guidelines.
"We must thank all our competitors, teams and families for their patience and perseverance this year. It has not been easy."
He said the main focus of running the 2021 events was consolidation and risk management, and elements like spatial control, social distancing, and COVID management were key when creating the calendar.
He said to expect significant changes to the format of all rounds, but they would be released progressively.
"As a first step, the unveiling of this provisional calendar is a major milestone in the return to the track and will provide the catalyst for finalising details for next year," he said.
"We look forward with positive anticipation to season 2021 and the new and exciting developments it will bring."
Mr McLachlan was excited to introduce pedal prix at The Bend for the first time.
"We cannot expect our world to return to the old normal, COVID-19, or at least the threat of it, will be with us for some time to come, and changes have to be made in response," he said.
"Key to these changes is spatial density management - how people locate together, and the duration for which they do so.
"To this point, the new circuit on our provisional calendar, The Bend Motorsport Park, offers great opportunity with many controllable and varied designated areas, not to mention it is a brand new facility incorporating a brilliantly smooth and safe track with numerous circuit layout options."
It is unknown how long these races will be.
The Murray Bridge 24-hour race is the jewel in the AIPP HPV Super Series crown, and while it is unclear on how the event will look, it is still scheduled to go ahead.
"The Sturt Reserve circuit at Murray Bridge will need some strategic thinking applied before the final format is confirmed," Mr McLachlan said.
He said it was unfortunate to lose the Loxton event, as AIPP and the council had been working towards a new agreement to have a round in the Riverland town.
"Unfortunately we will lose Loxton, at least for next year, whose Council and community have been incredibly supportive over the last six years," he said.
Planning and resourcing at the Adelaide event would "provide further challenges", hence why only one round will be held at Victoria Park instead of the usual two.