Supercars has U-turned on its unloved decision to drop Mark Larkham from its broadcast team.
Larkham was released as the series pitlane ‘technical’ expert ahead of the 2021 season.
The news was unwelcome by many fans who argued Larkham’s likable charisma and expert analysis made for enjoyable viewing.
The backlash led to Supercars re-thinking its broadcast line-up and has lured him back to the fold.
“We do listen, and it is clear how much the fans love Larko,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said.
“It was a mistake for us to part ways, but the outpouring of support from our fans proved we couldn’t carry on without him.
“It gives us great pride in knowing how strongly our fans care about Larko, and how much they care about Supercars.”
No doubt Larkham would have had some demands to be met before agreeing to return, but he thanked both Supercars and its fans for their support on his decision.
“Like Supercars, I could not in good conscience ignore the will of the fans whose very participation has kept me in the business for most of my life,” he said.
“At the end of the day, this is not about me; this is about the fans. The fans that love our sport watch our telecasts, buy tickets and team merchandise, and keep the whole show alive.
“They spoke, Supercars listened and responded.
“So in a really good way, over Christmas, you did put an enormous weight, not a burden, on my shoulders, and Supercars gave me lots of time to consider my position, and I thank them for that.
“Add to that my deep love of our sport and the fact that Supercars, and Sean in particular, allowed me to agree a very clear pathway back in, where most importantly I can continue to do what I do, including bumble, fall, drop things and make mistakes.”
There has still been no word on whether Riana Crehan, who was also dropped from the broadcast line-up for the new season, will also be making a return.
Neil Crompton and Mark Skaife are set to remain as the lead race callers while Craig Lowndes and Jessica Yates will likely stay on as panel hosts.