UPDATE @ 6.00 AM: The coronavirus pandemic has claimed one of Queensland’s largest sporting events, with the Gold Coast 600 officially axed this year.
Supercars confirmed in a statement a short time ago that the much-loved annual event has been left off the rescheduled 2020 Championship calendar.
“Following extensive conversations with both the QLD and NSW governments and with local government partners, the traditional street circuit events on the Gold Coast and Newcastle have not been included in the 2020 draft calendar,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said.
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“Refunds will be processed for those who have purchased tickets to these events.”
It’s understood logistical challenges around track construction and the threat of having no crowds is to blame.
The popular event was due to take place on the streets of Surfers Paradise this October, injecting much-needed funds into the local economy.
Fans will still get their Supercars fix however, with the Supercars Championship roaring back to racing, starting in Sydney next month.
It will be a two-day ‘television only’ event at Sydney Motorsport Park, which will take place on 27 – 28 June.
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will remain as a four-day event, with the race to be held on 11 October, as a 161-lap endurance event.
While the Newcastle event has also been scrapped this year, a second event to be held at Mount Panorama in February 2021 has been added to the revised calendar.
“Regarding the 2021 Bathurst 12 Hour event, the current plan would see it run on the same weekend as the second Bathurst event in February, pending international travel restrictions,” Supercars said.
Discussions with key New Zealand stakeholders in relation to the proposed Auckland event in January 2021 are underway, with details to be confirmed in the weeks ahead.
“To be in a position to release a calendar is great news for our sport,” Seamer said.
“This plan allows us to deliver a world-class Championship while remaining agile and responsive to changing conditions.”
The rescheduled calendar:
- Sydney Motorsport Park 27-28 June
- Truck Assist Winton 18-19 July
- BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown 8-9 August
- Townsville 29-30 August
- OTR The Bend 19-20 September
- Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 8-11 October
- PIRTEK Perth 31 Oct – 1 Nov
- Tyrepower Tasmania 21-22 November
- Penrite Oil Sandown 12-13 December
- ITM Auckland 9-10 January 2021
- Bathurst 5-7 February 2021
*All events are subject to change
EARLIER @ 4.00 AM: It appears the coronavirus pandemic may have claimed another major Gold Coast sporting event this year.
The Gold Coast 600 looks like its been left off the Supercars new-season calendar.
It comes after Supercars administrators met on Saturday afternoon to discuss and finalise the upcoming events.
According to speedcafe, logistical challenges around track construction and the threat of having no crowds is to blame.
The popular annual event was due to take place on the streets of Surfers Paradise this October, injecting much-needed funds into the local economy.
Last years GC600 saw the biggest crowd attendance ever, with 198,763 people gathering over three days.
Supercars confirmed in a statement on Saturday that Sydney Motorsport Park will host the first event back in June.
Sydney was initially slated to run as a night event in late August, but the pandemic has thrown the whole schedule into chaos, with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer revealing it made sense to host the first race back in that state.
“It’s in between most of our teams in Queensland and Victoria; it has the convenience of the hotel over the road; it also has good proximity for TV crews so we can have less people travelling interstate to deliver the event,” Seamer said.
“In addition to that, it’s a good precinct for us from a management point of view. There’s plenty of room out the back of the pits, it has big pit garages, so it enables us to meet the restrictions and be compliant.”
The Townsville 400 is expected to still go ahead, but at a later date.
The full revised calendar is expected to be released later this weekend.