Supercars defers Asia push until 2019

Supercars CEO James Warburton met with Formula 1 management and Asian promotors at the Singapore Grand Prix

Supercars has confirmed next year’s calendar will be based around Australian and New Zealand events with an expansion into Asia set for 2019.

The confirmation arrives following CEO James Warburton’s visit to last weekend’s Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, where he met with F1 management and several Asian race promoters, as revealed by Speedcafe.com.

Supercars has been pushing to expand into Asia with Warburton hopeful of securing an event for 2018 and at least two for 2019.

After a series of positive meetings with promoters at the Marina Bay circuit, an international expansion has now been officially deferred for a year, as expected.

Warburton did however meet with Formula 1 management to further the championship’s ties as an official F1 support category.

This could see Supercars support future Asian F1 races, such as the Singapore Grand Prix, in addition to the recently confirmed championship round at the Australian Grand Prix.

“It was a very positive weekend,” Warburton told Supercars.com.

“Wherever you are in the globe people have an enormous amount of respect for Supercars. People know and love the product.

“We had a great set of meetings, particularly catching up with Sean Bratches (MD of commercial operations) and the Formula 1 team, as well as a series of promoters.

“As always it will come down to the economics, but we also had positive meetings with the Singapore Tourism Board.

“We’re working towards opportunities for 2019. Time will tell, but there’s a lot of desire to make it work.

“I’ve got no doubt that joining established events is absolutely the right model for us to pursue.”

Supercars is set to reveal its 2018 calendar next month which will likely see the series expand to 16 events.

South Australia’s new The Bend Motorsport Park facility, which is currently under construction, is tipped to receive an August date in the calendar to become the newest addition to the schedule.

Winton will stay on the calendar if it can secure the necessary funding from the Victorian Government.

The Victorian circuit penned a three-year-deal with Supercars last year.

“We remain confident we will be on the calendar, and we will continue to work closely with government to finalise the necessary details,” Benalla Auto Club chief executive Chris Lewis-Williams told Speedcafe.com.

Supercars is also in talks to strike a new deal to secure the future of the ITM Auckland Super Sprint at Pukekohe Raceway.

The New Zealand circuit is in the final year of its current contract.

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