Bathurst will now be pushed back a week and act as the season finale of the 2020 Supercars championship after the move was confirmed today following the final race in Townsville.
The one week push back gives the current Supercars circus a much-desired breather after four successive rounds on the trot away from home. But it still will be a rapid end to the year with only three non-race weekends between now and Bathurst with the addition of two races at The Bend on September 19-20 and 26-27.
The new date of October 18 also gives teams an added week of preparation for the arguably the most important race of the year, one which has added emphasis in 2020 with the announcement Mount Panorama will also host the season finale in a curtailed conclusion to the year.
Co-drivers will unlikely have any pre-Bathurst seat time but the calendar change does create a more adjustable window for those outside the New South Wales border to make viable travel arrangements.
The last time Bathurst acted as the Supercars season finale was in 2000, where Mark Skaife was crowned that year’s champion.
The now-turned commentator admits it is important Bathurst remains on the calendar, finale or not.
“The biggest thing for me is that Bathurst event, I mean it is our Holy Grail. It’s the traditional stop-the-nation day in Australian sport and we needed to make sure that was always going to be conjured up in a time frame that worked for the teams,” Skaife said on Supercars Trackside.
“So to put it back one week, I know there is a little bit of hostility around not being able to announce yet until today. But at the end of the day, it is the grand final and that’s really important.”
Also confirmed is the series the will head to Tailem Bend after next week’s second leg of the Townsville doubleheader later next month.
There are no border restrictions between South Australia and Queensland meaning teams can travel to and from their Queensland hub unimpeded before heading to Bathurst.
The Bend was initially one of the first circuits cut from an earlier revision of the calendar leading to a stern response by circuit owner Sam Shahin.