Newcastle is unlikely to feature on the 2021 Supercars calendar.
There has been significant speculation over the future of the port city street race, after it was cancelled as part of a truncated, revised post-lockdown 2020 schedule.
That was further fuelled by confirmation that the Adelaide 500 will move to later in the year for 2021, Newcastle’s regular season finale slot a logical fit for the high-profile South Australian event.
Motorsport.com understands that Adelaide is indeed set to replace Newcastle as the season finale on next year’s schedule, which is set to be unveiled this month.
Newcastle, meanwhile, is expected to drop off the schedule altogether, despite the five-year deal between Supercars and the New South Wales government technically running until 2021.
Street circuits have been most vulnerable to the pandemic, the events requiring both government backing and strong attendances – two things currently difficult to guarantee – to make sense.
The Gold Coast and Newcastle were called off this year, while Adelaide was lucky to be run before COVID-19 got a foothold in Australia.
While Newcastle is unlikely to return, the Gold Coast is set to appear in its traditional post-Bathurst spot on the 2021 schedule.
How it will fit into the Season of Endurance, however, is unclear. There are rumours that Sandown is likely to return to the post-Bathurst slot, but no firm indication how many events outside of the Bathurst 1000 will feature two-driver races.
As has been widely reported the season is expected to start with a sprint round at Mount Panorama in late February.
From there the flow is likely to be similar to what was planned for 2020, although international travel restrictions mean there will be an ongoing question mark over both the Australian Grand Prix (planned for March 14) and the April trip to New Zealand.
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