Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says the series is currently planning a return to New Zealand in 2021 with an intention to revive the ANZAC round in April after it was confirmed today the championship will not make its annual trip across the Tasman later this year.
An amended 2020 calendar has seen rounds from New Zealand, The Bend and a second Bathurst event all dropped and the season will now conclude under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park in December.
Since 2001 the Supercars Championship has made the pilgrimage across the ditch with rounds from Pukekohe and a brief stint at the Hamilton Street circuit occurring at least once every year.
A press release by Supercars cited the cancellation as a consequence of the COVID-19 circumstances “which are beyond the reasonable control” of the organisation.
Seamer has since acknowledged the importance of staging a New Zealand round and has admitted work is underway to see the series return in 2021.
“The ITM Auckland SuperSprint is a major drawcard on Auckland’s annual events calendar,” said Seamer. “Following discussions over recent weeks, it has become clear to all parties that an event in January could not go ahead due to the effects of COVID-19.
“While there are many details to be worked through, Supercars is actively engaged in discussions with ATEED around the return to New Zealand in 2021.
“We are committed to including the Auckland round in the 2021 calendar which is due to be released in October.”
Seamer explained the update to the revised calendar has been made following weeks of discussions with key stakeholders including broadcast partners and team owners.
“When the draft calendar was released four weeks ago, our primary objective was to ensure we returned to racing as soon as possible.
“This allowed us to put a stake in the ground and ensure we returned to the track quickly following the COVID-19 shutdown.
“The calendar announced in May was based on the best information we had at the time.
“With an eye on 2021, teams and broadcast partners have agreed it is in all parties’ best interests commercially and competitively to finish this year’s campaign in December and start the new season in the New Year.”
Supercars will return to action next weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park and will feature three 130km races.