The Newcastle street race will open the 2022 Supercars season after missing out on a spot on the 2021 schedule.
As first revealed by Motorsport.com the event has long been poised to miss out next year, despite the contract first signed between the New South Wales government and Supercars running from 2017 to 2021.
It was shuffled out of contention as part of a contract renegotiation with NSW officials due to the pandemic, a stipulation that the final round of the championship had to be held in the state effectively flipped so that the season opener could be held at Mount Panorama.
Adelaide was initially set to take over the season finale for next season before the South Australian government’s shock decision to axe the event, the Gold Coast then taking over finale status.
The Newcastle event is not completely finished, though, with the 2021 calendar announcement also confirmed that it will return as the season opener for 2022.
“No city anywhere in Australia offers what Newcastle does in terms of providing stunning arial pictures of some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches,” said City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
“The Newcastle 500 street circuit traces both the city’s coastline as well as its working harbour. In recent years the shots of Supercars racing in the foreground while coal ships sail in the background are images that are embedded into the minds of tens of millions of motor racing fans around the world.
“In just three years, Newcastle has established itself as one of the most popular stops on the Supercars calendar with both fans and drivers. Newcastle and the Hunter enjoy a huge racing supporter base and I’m confident they will love the promotion to the season opener and will continue to pour into the city for the three days in massive numbers.
“For visitors keen to linger beyond the Newcastle 500, the city becomes the perfect base from which to explore the attractions of wider Hunter region such as the world-famous wineries of the Hunter, located just 40 minutes away. It’s everything a Supercars fan could wish for.”
The news effectively resigns the Mount Panorama 500 to be a one-off, with that track allocation expected to be returned to the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2022 should Australia’s borders be open.
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