Bathurst 1000 considered as Supercars grand finale for 2020 season
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Supercars has not ruled out a blockbuster early finale to its championship at the Bathurst 1000 as the series wrangles with more fallout from border issues around the country.
In what would be the ultimate climax to a COVID-ravaged season, Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer said all options are “on the table” - including finishing the season at the biggest race of the year.
Supercars is understood to be close to confirming plans for a double-header in Townsville later this month and early September to follow back-to-back races in Darwin, which have been delayed by a week due to fresh travel restrictions in the Northern Territory.
With the September race at Sandown unviable due to Victoria’s COVID-19 crisis, there is also talk of a potential race – or two – at Queensland Raceway after Townsville.
From there, the Bathurst 1000 could potentially host a blockbuster finale in October with doubt over other races later in the year due to border restrictions.
Seamer said all options to finish the season were being considered.
“I think that’s a scenario that our fans would certainly like, it’s something that everybody has always talked about having Bathurst as the finale,” Seamer said.
“Everything is on the table at the moment, but we are not planning too far ahead because as we’ve seen in the last week two weeks is a tremendous amount of time in the world at the moment.
“We’ll get through Darwin and as we get closer to Townsville, that’s when we’ll start to lock down our plans from Townsville through to Bathurst.”
Bathurst has long been considered Supercars’ Grand Final, but has traditionally occupied its place on the calendar in October. It is scheduled for October 18 this year.
Three rounds are due to be held after Mount Panorama – Perth, Tasmania and the finale under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park. But border restrictions in Tasmania and WA have cast a cloud over those events.
Motorsport Australia criteria stipulates the V8 championship must visit “no fewer than four states” and have held a “minimum of six rounds” for a champion to be legitimately crowned.
After the rounds in Darwin, Townsville, and potentially Ipswich, the series would have met that criteria by Bathurst where it could be nudging 10 rounds.
Melbourne’s abandoned round at Albert Park will be counted as – even though points weren’t awarded – the cars held qualifying sessions.
The Victorian teams forced to evacuate the state have been keen for Supercars to cram in as much racing as possible while they were forced on the road.