Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has dropped a strong hint that the series will be returning to Mount Panorama just four-months after yesterday’s season-concluding Bathurst 1000 to kick off the 2021 championship.
In September, the Adelaide 500 surrendered its rights to host the season-opening round. The Parklands street circuit in South Australia has been the traditional opening event of the Supercars championship since 2002, but next year will instead see the round moved later in the calendar.
The explanation cited by the South Australian government was the pandemic has led to uncertainty over whether officials could fully construct the circuit in time for a February start.
Instead, Seamer suggested at last night’s Supercars Gala Awards that Bathurst is all but set to take over as the new season-opening round.
“It’s been said a million times, but this is a year like no other, and it’s put us under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Seamer said.
“But the way that we’ve conducted ourselves, the resilience we’ve shown has proved to the world exactly why we are some of the best in the world at what we do.
“For all of that, everybody in this paddock, in this pit lane, the teams, the Victorian teams, should be really proud of what they’ve achieved.
“It hasn’t just got us to this point right now; it’s set us up very, very well for the next five years.
“So, we come off the back of this year with a lot of great momentum, we’ve got a lot to be excited for in the next five years, but right now it’s time to get back to families, and the people that have made the most sacrifice of all of us; the ones that have missed their loved ones for so much time.
“I wish everybody a good time, get home, get home safely, and enjoy some downtime with your families and we’ll get back here to Bathurst in February.”
The round will go ahead on the early February date reserved for the Bathurst 12 Hour GT race, an event Supercars owns.
A Bathurst opener will most likely use the series’ traditional sprint format. This will ensure the Bathurst 1000 endurance race remains on its usual October date towards the back end of the calendar.
Bathurst was initially set to host the finale of a revised 2020/21 season. This led to fears by some fans that a second trip to Mount Panorama could take away some of the glamour of the circuit for the 1000.
Supercars then dropped it as a part of a secondary calendar revision.