Supercars plans Thailand demo for 2017
Five Supercars will travel to Thailand next year to perform a demonstration as plans continue for the category’s expansion into Asia.
The move will mimic that seen with Malaysia’s KL City GP, which hosted a five-car demo in August, 2015, before what was planned to be a full championship round this year.
As reported earlier this week, there will be no Asian Supercars round in 2017 amid ongoing legal action over the KL event and delays getting new races in Thailand and Indonesia up and running.
Supercars CEO James Warburton remains bullish that all three events are still on the cards for 2018, spruiking “$80 million worth of contracts” currently being held with local promoters.
The Thailand event is mooted for a street circuit in a regional area outside of Bangkok while Supercars’ Indonesian plans centre around the Sentul International Circuit, which will need significant upgrades before hosting an international series.
Both events will rely on local promoters finding the funding to cover Supercars’ sanction fee and the cost of air freighting its cars and equipment to and from Australia.
“We’ve been able to secure the number one, number two and number five countries in the world on a per capita basis that like motorsport – Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia,” said Warburton.
“There’s $80 million worth of contracts that are sitting there.
“There’s things in the Thailand race that will be announced either late this year or very early next year where you want your proof point.
“We’ll do what we did with KL where we take a five-car demo into that round.
“It’s taken almost five years for MotoGP, by the time they get into Indonesia, to get that round up – we’ll do it within two.
“Sure, the critics come out and will have a swing in terms of ‘they’re not on the calendar for 2017’, but for us it’s about getting them right, making sure they’re sustainable and moving towards that future in Asia which we’re really committed to doing.”
Warburton meanwhile denied that a deal has been completed for Newcastle to take over from Sydney Olympic Park as the category’s final round.
An announcement of the agreement is set to take place next week ahead of a full calendar reveal.
“There is no decision other than we’ve got great partners in the New South Wales government and we will have a suiting finale in the regional New South Wales market,” he claimed.