Supercars CEO to meet Asian race promoters at Singapore GP
Supercars CEO James Warburton is set to meet a host of promoters at next month’s Singapore Grand Prix as the championship continues to work on an expansion into Asia.
Warburton has long held an ambition to see Supercars move into the region with plans to secure an event for next year and two races by 2019.
A series of meetings with promoters are expected to take place during the Singapore Formula 1 event, held over the same September 15-17 weekend as the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Warburton maintains there is still a possibility a deal can be struck to see an Asian race added to the 2018 calendar, which is due to be revealed at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from October 5-8.
Supercars has already been linked to events in China, Thailand and Indonesia, with the championship understood to have a deal in place with the latter’s Sentul Circuit, subject to improvements being made to the venue.
The championship remains in talks with Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, although the track confirmed to Speedcafe.com last week that its focus is on securing an event for 2019. Warburton is due to meet circuit boss Razlan Razali during his Singapore visit.
The Singapore Grand Prix itself has emerged as a possible option courtesy of a much more open relationship with F1’s new owners Liberty Media, which has led to the Australian Grand Prix becoming a championship round next year.
With the calendar set to expand to 16 events next year, Warburton says there is no certainty that an Asian event will come to fruition for next year.
“We have got three or four options across the 2018-2019 period and we are just running them down,” Warburton told Speedcafe.com.
“They are always very complicated deals in Asia.
“As I’ve said we are hopeful of having at least one on the calendar for 2018, but again there is absolutely no certainty.
“Razlan (Sepang boss) has put all of his comments on record and I completely agree with him that we are looking at 2019 rather than rushing it, given the calendar is due out at Bathurst.
“There is lots of different meetings to take place with a number of promoters in the region. It is just a matter of working through those.
“It is a jewel in the Asian motorsport landscape so there is a lot of promoters there. It is an opportunity to meet with a range of people and catch up with Formula 1 management.”
The series is also in ongoing talks to secure a new deal to race at New Zealand’s Pukekohe Raceway. The current arrangement is set to expire at the end of the season.
However, there are question marks surrounding Winton’s future as its current three-year contract is subject to government funding.