The 2020 Supercars Championship will end with the Bathurst 1000, preceded by a SuperSprint double-header at The Bend Motorsport Park.
A third visit to Sydney Motorsport Park in December had been originally earmarked as the last event of the season, Supercars management has decided to shorten the campaign and cancel planned visits to Western Australia and Tasmania given both states’ continued interstate border closures due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
The Bend’s place on the 2020 calendar has been reinstated. It was initially slated to play host to a 500-kilometre warm-up endurance event prior to the Bathurst 1000 but the onset of COVID-19 saw the venue subsequently omitted, much to the public fury at the time of circuit owner Sam Shahin.
The revised schedule will see the Supercars field cross the border to South Australia after this weekend’s second leg of the Townsville double-header, with back-to-back SuperSprint rounds taking place on the weekends of 19-20 and 26-27 September respectively.
In the wake of the announcement, Shahin said his team will work at full speed to be ready for the Supercars double-header.
“In what has been the most challenging year in living memory, I am altogether excited, relieved, and looking forward to The Bend being part of the 2020 championship,” said Shahin.
“It is a credit to drivers, team members, owners, Supercars and the wider motorsport community that the series has been able to navigate the difficult circumstances of the past six months.
“It demonstrates the tenacity and determination of the sport and makes us feel even prouder of being part of this community.
“The task is now in front of us to put on the best events possible in September, essentially cramming what normally takes six months of planning into three weeks, but we love a challenge!”
Shahin wrote on his Twitter feed that he would also explore options to use a different circuit configuration for the second leg of the SuperSprint – the Supercars Championship has run on the 4.9-kilometre ‘International Circuit’ layout, however the ‘GT Circuit’ (7.7 kilometres), ‘West Circuit’ (3.4 kilometres) and East Circuit (3.9 kilometres) are potential options to lend more variety.
The inclusion of The Bend on the schedule means the Bathurst 1000 has been pushed back by one week, with the Great Race now taking place on October 18.
It will be the third time in Australia’s 60-year touring car championship history that the Mount Panorama Circuit will play host to the final round of the season, having done so in the 1999 and 2000 campaigns.
“This is our marquee event on the calendar and this year it will also be our series decider, making it an even more memorable occasion,” Supercars CEO Seamer said.
“We looked at all options beyond Bathurst as well as the best options for our Victorian teams, who will have been on the road for over 100 days by the completion of the event.
“Getting those drivers, team personnel and officials’ home to loved ones was at the forefront of this decision.”
|2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Season Calendar (Updated)|
|22-23 Feb||Adelaide 500||Adelaide street circuit, SA||Two-race|
|27-28 Jun||Sydney SuperSprint I||Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW||Three-race|
|18-19 Jul||Sydney SuperSprint II||Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW||Three-race|
|15-16 Aug||Darwin Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway, NT||Three-race|
|22-23 Aug||Darwin SuperSprint||Hidden Valley Raceway, NT||Three-race|
|29-30 Aug||Townsville SuperSprint I||Townsville street circuit, QLD||Three-race|
|05-06 Sep||Townsville SuperSprint II||Townsville street circuit, QLD||Three-race|
|19-20 Sep||The Bend SuperSprint I||The Bend Motorsport Park, SA||Three-race|
|26-27 Sep||The Bend SuperSprint II||The Bend Motorsport Park, SA||Three-race|
|18 Oct||Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama Circuit, NSW||Endurance|
Image via Kelly Racing and The Bend Motorsport Park
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