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The Bend open to Supercars layout change

The Bend owner Sam Shahin says he'd like to see Supercars racing on the East version of the circuit.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Edge Photographics

Supercars traditionally uses the 4.95-kilometre International layout for its annual visit to the Tailem Bend circuit.

The only exception was the second leg of the double-header at The Bend last year, when the 3.41-kilometre West layout, which is part of the International layout, was put into action.

Shahin, however, says it's the East circuit that Supercars should consider in the future.

According to the circuit owner and operator, the 3.93-kilometre layout, which forms part of the monster 7.77-kilometre GT track, is the most spectacular of the options available.

"The absolute highlight reel is the East circuit," he told Motorsport.com. "It really is a track that... the light will shine on it in due course.

"It is the most spectacular of tracks. I've invited Supercars in the past to race on it and experience it, because it is something else.

"It's the second half of the GT circuit, down the bottom end. It has incredible rise and fall. It has incredible ballsy sections of road."

There is currently no certainty over the future of Supercars at The Bend, with the existing agreement running out this year.

Talks over a new deal kicked off between Bend officials and Supercars at the recent The Bend SuperSprint event, with Shahin keen to foster a long-term relationship with the series.

However he also says doing so will require cooperation and enthusiasm from Supercars to ensure the venue is utilised to its potential.

That's likely to include a date change away from the mid-winter slot that The Bend scored on this year's schedule.

"In every relationship it has to work for both parties," said Shahin.

"For me, I'm very proud as a venue owner to have Supercars race here. And I hope it's the same for Supercars.

"I haven't had the deep conversations with the new owners of Supercars about the future of Supercars, but from my point of view, I of course would love to see Supercars here as part of their long-term future.

"Ultimately, Supercars has to be thrilled with visiting The Bend for that to happen.

"It's like any relationship. Boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, partner and partner – both have got to be happy. I learnt a long time ago a successful relationship needs each party wanting the relationship to be successful more than the other party. That's the magic for successful, long-term relationships.

"I hope we are talking about The Bend and Supercars for a long time to come."

Shahin is also confident that The Bend can co-exist with the reborn Adelaide 500 in the future.

"I've had extensive discussions with the [South Australian Tourism Commission] and with the South Australian government and the Premier himself," he added.

"He is incredibly enthusiastic about motorsport. I have the commitment of the SA government and the premier that The Bend should, and must, co-exist alongside the Adelaide 500 as two fixtures in Supercars' future in South Australia."

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