Key stakeholders across several racetracks are still waiting for specific details on their place on the 2021 Supercars calendar as the Adelaide 500 is canceled.
The loss of the Hall of Fame event is just the latest major development after a season that saw the calendar become a moving target due to the impact of COVID-19.
Although the worst of the pandemic is seemingly over, Supercars faces another challenging task as it determines what the tour will be like over the next year.
As of now, there is no word on when the Queensland New South Wales border will reopen, nor the hard border with Western Australia, or when the rest of the country will allow free entry from Victoria.
There is also the ongoing question of mass gatherings, which could particularly affect the viability of street circles.
Speedcafe.com assumes that several track operators / organizers are still waiting for details of their events, including when they may take place.
The West Australian Sporting Car Club, which operates the Wanneroo Raceway and promotes the Perth event north of the city, is working to host supercars in one of two well-known “windows”, but several other stakeholders are less secure.
However, there is a general understanding of the task facing the championship and one of these stakeholders says that they are “not surprised” by the situation.
It is noteworthy that the final events of this year’s calendar, as far as they can be called one, were not confirmed until August 30, the Sunday of the first Townsville event.
That’s a little over a year since the 2020 calendar was released on August 28th last year.
The 2021 version is not expected to appear for at least a week, although its composition is becoming increasingly clear.
It is known that the first event in New South Wales will be held on an unspecified circuit, but which is widely expected to be Mount Panorama.
The earlier news announcement by the NSW government coincided with the confirmation that Bathurst 12 Hour will not be held next year, and came the day after Supercars CEO Sean Seamer told competitors from the Mount Panorama pit lane: ” We return here to Bathurst February. ”
It will likely consist of two 250km races based on comments from James Warburton, CEO of Seven West Media, in a video presentation with Seamer, his successor at Supercars, released as part of the announcement of the new television deal.
Depending on the exact date of what Warburton calls the “Bathurst 500,” Albert Park will be set as Event 2 or Event 3.
A date of March 18-21 seems most likely for the Australian Grand Prix as the Supercars Championship field is on the support bill and battling for points, even though Network 10 owns the Formula 1 broadcast rights.
A draft calendar was presented to F1 teams on Monday, which is expected to be released next week. A publication of the Supercars calendar is therefore highly unlikely by then.
Bathurst 1000 will take place October 7-10, assuming it returns to its now normal position the weekend after the Labor Day holiday in NSW, having been pushed back for a week this time to give teams more time for months after preparing to enter the road.
The New South Wales government has also confirmed that a SuperNight will be held in Sydney over the next five years, although there is still no clear indication of when it might fall in 2021.
Eastern Creek was originally slated to host August 28-30 this year, August 3rd and 4th, 2018, when supercars raced under lights on Australian soil for the first time since the 1990s.
It is understood that planning for the Darwin event is in progress.
Hidden Valley had usually come to host in mid-June before it was scheduled to swap positions with Townsville this year for a date in mid-July, but eventually saw two events following a quarantine saga in August.
Darwin’s climate is such that supercars are practically tied to a winter visit, which makes June or July very likely again.
Supercars has announced that it will return to New Zealand in 2021, although that nation is still closed to foreigners.
Whether this is the case at Pukekohe or Hampton Downs, the latter being a hasty replacement for the former after it was discovered that racing in the Auckland area was banned on ANZAC day remains to be seen.
Pointing out that Supercars wanted to cut its calendar, the Adelaide 500’s death could mean a break for another event.
Practically the only other option for a presence in South Australia, The Bend has closed a hole this season with events on consecutive weekends in September.
Newcastle debuted on a five-year contract in 2017 but after missing out on this year due to COVID-19 there are question marks about its place on the 2021 calendar.
There are also Symmons Plains, Winton, Townsville, the Gold Coast, and Sandown to consider.
All but Winton are the subject of multi-year contracts due to take effect this year, but none but Townsville hosted supercars this year.
Both Townsville and the other Queensland Gold Coast venue are street circles. While the former has shown this year to be a relatively straightforward temporary venue, its southern cousin is far more disruptive and intertwined with residential and hotel buildings.
Although there is no firm indication of when the 2021 calendar will appear, the deadline for the race eligibility contract is set at the end of November.
Actual and potential competitors are likely to need some degree of certainty about what and how many events they will face prior to committing, which means that day will act as a kind of marker for the calendar.
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