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Current Supercars season unlikely to go into 2021

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Current Supercars season unlikely to go into 2021
By:
Jun 11, 2020, 6:58 AM

Supercars is set to make a significant change to its revised 2020 schedule, with the two races slated for early 2021 unlikely to go ahead.

The Aussie series has been in a coronavirus-induced hiatus since March, its season brought to a halt after a single completed championship round.

It's since unveiled a revised 2020 schedule featuring 12 rounds in total – two less than originally planned – with the season bleeding into 2021 with a January trip to New Zealand and a finale at Mount Panorama on the Bathurst 12 Hour weekend in February.

That, however, is set to change as part of a significant shake-up to the revised calendar.

Motorsport.com understands neither of the 2021 rounds will go ahead. The trip to New Zealand is likely to be called off altogether, while the Bathurst plan is expected to morph into an alternative that will still satisfy the category's agreement with the New South Wales state government to host a marquee season finale.

A second round at Sydney Motorsport Park, however this time under lights, is being touted as a possible solution.

SMP was originally scheduled to host a Supercars night round in August, marking the debut of a new $16 million permanent lighting system.

However the circuit will now be used to resume the season on the last weekend in June, before work on the lighting system will be completed.

A second trip to Sydney to close the season under lights could therefore give the project a grand opening while also appeasing the NSW government deal regarding the final round.

Finishing the season in 2021 was always set to be complicated, given the majority of driver and sponsor contracts end on December 31.

When the revised calendar was first unveiled in mid-May Supercars CEO Sean Seamer admitted there would still be wrinkles to iron out in terms of contractual issues.

"We've got the piece of work as far as we possibly can collaboratively with the state governments and our broadcast partners," he said.

"Now we're expanding our group of partners to enable us to go ahead and lock down the rest of this championship. There's only so much you can do in the background and behind closed doors. This weekend we're coming out from behind closed doors to work with the broader ecosystem on delivery the championship."

He also said at the time that changes to the schedule could still happen.

"The first thing I'd say is that this schedule is subject to change, so don't get hung up on the number of rounds that are shown here," he said.

"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. That's no different to any other sport."

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen