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Supercars to make Sydney return after $33 million deal

Mat Coch

Saturday 23rd February, 2019 - 8:23am

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Sydney Motorsport Park will host a round of the 2020 Supercars championship

Supercars racing will return to Sydney Motorsport Park in 2020 following the signing of a new $33 million investment package by the New South Wales state government.

The investment from the state government will allow for the construction of 150 permanent light towers around the circuit capable of producing ‘broadcast quality’ lighting.

“Motor sport is the fourth most watched sport in the country and thousands of people in Western Sydney love it which is why we want to ensure the sport has a strong presence in Western Sydney in the future,” explained Staurt Ayres, the Minister for Sport.

“Adding lights to Sydney Motorsport Park will make is more attractive for major events and allow motor enthusiasts to enjoy a lot more track time.

“This will make Sydney Motorsport Park the Silverstone of the Southern Hemisphere.”

After hosting the successful SuperNight in 2018, Sydney missed out on a berth on the 2019 calendar.

“The ARDC views this additional Government investment in Sydney Motorsport Park as an important continuation of the Club’s long-standing commitment to excellence within the Australian motorsport industry,” added Andrew Leithead, president of the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club which operates Sydney Motorsport Park.

“A newly expanded SMSP calendar allows for strong increases in the level of innovative high-demand Tier 1 motorsport events headlined by the Supercars Championship night racing and other major events.”

No date has yet been confirmed for Sydney’s new deal, which Supercars boss Sean Seamer has explained is a hot topic within the sport.

It’s hoped the 2020 calendar, which is expected to include a ‘summer series’ aspect, will be completed by mid-season in an effort to allow new teams to tender for the two Racing Entitlements Contracts that were handed back at the end of last season.

“This is a great step forward in our plans for Sydney,” Seamer said of the investment.

“The 2018 night race was a fantastic proof of concept and since then, Glenn Matthews and his team have done a wonderful job to secure these significant upgrades which will establish Sydney Motorsport Park as an elite, 24/7 motorsport facility.

“We look forward to the SuperNight format returning in 2020 and moving on to the second phase of our partnership with the ARDC and NSW Government, which is to establish a Supercars team in Sydney, based at SMSP.”

Seamer suggested the developments at Sydney may event tempt a team to base itself out of Australia’s largest city.

Teams like Wall Racing and Garth Walden Racing are based out of Sydney, though the bulk of Supercars teams are currently either Melbourne or Gold Coast based

Brad Jones Racing is the notable exception with the squad having remained true to its Albury roots.

“A Sydney franchise would have premium facilities on their doorstep,” Seamer ventured.

“This initiative will provide a manufacturer, team and their partners with immediate access to an international race track, premium function facilities for major corporate events, vehicle launches, drive days, vehicle appreciation sessions, product R&D and conferences.

“This also provides the catalyst to link Supercars’ technology, education and training with Western Sydney’s strong tertiary education and engineering communities.

“A Sydney-based team will also have the growing greater Western Sydney community as a support base given the huge number of Supercars fans in the western corridor of Australia’s largest city.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship begins next weekend in Adelaide for the Superloop 500, while Barbagallo will play host to the SuperNight concept in May.

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