Supercars reveals calendar, won't race in New Zealand until January next year
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New Zealand's round of the Supercars Championship won't be taking place until January 2021, it's been confirmed.
The event is scheduled for January 9-10, although Supercars has not determined whether it will take place at either Pukekohe Park or Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. The news comes as Supercars confirms its full rescheduled calendar for the 2020 season in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sweeping impacts it's had on international sport and travel.
The series aims to restart at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27-28, with a return to Winton following on July 18-19. It them travels to Darwin, before making its first street circuit appearance at Townsville on August 29-30. The Bend will stage its 500km enduro as planned, before the series travels to Mount Panorama for its traditional October 8-11 Bathurst 1000 weekend.
Events at mainstay venues Perth, Tasmania, and Sandown follow, with the latter being the last event of the year on December 12-13. The New Zealand event then rings in the new year, before a second Bathurst event closes out the season.
The calendar confirms that the series will unsurprisingly skip the street circuit events at Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
“This is a fixed stake in the ground that we can now move forward on, and we all need to be flexible on how much racing we can and can't do over the coming eight months,” says Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
“We looked at everything. We looked at bubble concepts, we looked at back-to-back rounds. But the calendar has been formulated in such a way that we've been able to maintain the spacing between the rounds, for both medical and cost reasons.
“We believe it allows us to maintain our national footprint, which is really important to us.”
Like many other motorsport series worldwide, the Supercars Championship was rocked by Covid-19. Along with having round two of its season at Albert Park in Melbourne cancelled on the eve of the opening race, the series has lost naming rights sponsor Virgin Australia after the firm filed for bankruptcy.
Ford team 23Red Racing also confirmed its exit from the series earlier this week, with rumours that a small group of other teams are in similar financial trouble.
Apart from the 1000-kilometre Bathurst classic, formats for the remaining weekends are still to be confirmed.
2020 Supercars Championship rescheduled calendar
Sydney Motorsport Park: June 27-28
Truck Assist Winton: 18-19
BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown: August 8-9
Townsville: August 29-30
OTR The Bend: September 19-20
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000: October 8-11
PIRTEK Perth: October 31-November 1
Tyrepower Tasmania: November 21-22
Penrite Oil Sandown: December 12-13
ITM Auckland: January 9-10
Bathurst series finale: February 5-7