THE reintroduction of COVID-19 quarantine measures has forced German ace Christopher Mies to sit out the opening day of running at the Repco Bathurst 1000.
The factory Audi Sport driver came to Bathurst this week to take part in two of the support events at the final round of the Repco Supercars Championship.
Mies is scheduled to drive in place of Garth Tander alongside title contender Yasser Shahin for the final Australian GT round, as well as aboard an Audi in TCR Australia.
However, increased concern around the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 led Australia to reintroduce mandatory 72-hour quarantine measures for international arrivals.
With Mies having arrived in Australia from overseas, he is now undertaking his compulsory three days of isolation.
Melbourne Performance Centre Audi team boss Troy Russell hopes to have Mies on track as early as tomorrow morning, when qualifying for both categories takes place.
“He’s in Bathurst doing his 72 hours self-isolation. He’ll definitely be out Thursday, but hopefully Wednesday,” Russell told V8 Sleuth.
“We’re a couple of hours out of missing qualifying so we’re trying to get something sorted to be allowed to get out two hours early.”
Mies won the 2011 and ’12 Bathurst 12 Hour races and is the outright lap record holder at Mount Panorama courtesy of a 1:59.2910 set at Challenge Bathurst in 2018.
Speaking before the quarantine measures were in place, Mies enthused over his return to Bathurst.
“Bathurst is always special and to come back after many years after not being able to be in Australia, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Mies.
“Australia is my favourite country and racing there is always a pleasure. I like the Australian racing culture.
“Obviously my main goal is to help Yasser win the championship and this is what I will do. From what I’ve heard he’s a great guy and an even better racer.
“I can’t wait to get this done for him and MPC. I’ve really missed these guys and I’m looking forward to continuing our story together.”
Japanese S5000 driver Yoshiaki Katayama is also currently in quarantine, having breifly returned home for a race weekend since his debut in the Aussie category in Sydney.
Like MPC, S5000 organisers are hopeful Katayama can be released early in order to take part in Wednesday qualifying.
Katayama has been given permission to start from the back of the field in Race 1 if he cannot make qualifying, in which case his first-ever lap of Bathurst would occur in a race.