On the same day as the Supercars Championship confirms a new title sponsor for next year’s Bathurst 1000, it’s been reported that the famed event is set to have its dates pushed back by a week.
The report stems from Speedcafe, and claims that the iconic event is set to switch from October 8–11 — its traditional October weekend slot — to October 15–18.
The decision has been shaped by Supercars’ perseverance through the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to complicate the tin-top championship’s calendar plans.
The lockdown of certain states and restrictions on border crossings have meant that certain teams have had to erect new bases out of state. This includes all teams ordinarily based in Melbourne, which is one of the cities hardest hit by the second wave of the virus.
The extra week gives teams more time to organise quarantine periods for co-drivers having to travel from different states, including those currently under lockdown in Victoria. Personnel that have been living on the road since the second Covid-19 wave will also have a greater opportunity to return home between events.
The date shift also helps provide a wider window between the category’s impending double-header event at Townsville, the forthcoming events at Queensland Raceway, and Bathurst.
It has been widely rumoured that the Bathurst 1000 may double as the final round of the 2020 season, although this has yet to be confirmed.
The news comes as the category embarks on uncharted territory. Last weekend’s event at Hidden Valley in Darwin is the first of four rounds of racing on consecutive weekends. The series races again at Darwin this weekend, and then spends the next two weekends racing in Townsville.