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Victorian events at risk in 2020 Supercars calendar

Tom Howard

Tuesday 18th June, 2019 - 6:00am

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Phillip Island could be omitted from the 2020 calendar pic: AJP Photography

Supercars is working towards forming a 14-round calendar for 2020 with events at Phillip Island and Winton potentially at risk of missing out, Speedcafe.com has learned.

The championship is aiming to unveil its full schedule at the Watpac Townsville 400 next month.

Speedcafe.com understands that the calendar could be set for a number of changes next year with at least two current events likely to drop off the schedule.

Adelaide will continue to host the season opener, as confirmed last month, which will most likely be followed by the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

A deal for Tasmania to remain on the bill has already been announced while Sydney Motorsport Park is set to return in the first quarter of the year, hosting one of two expected night races, with the Pirtek Perth SuperNight to follow after Sydney.

However, Phillip Island and Winton, which last dropped off the calendar in 2004 and 2005 respectively, are understood to be facing the chop with both events out of contract.

Other events currently up for renewal are the Townsville 400 and Gold Coast 600, although talks to strike new deals are understood to be positive.

Supercars boss Sean Seamer claims talks are ongoing with Visit Victoria and that nothing has been finalised, before hinting that the championship cannot visit all circuits.

“We’re having the same conversations with Visit Victoria as we are with TEQ (Tourism and Events Queensland, about Queensland events out of contract),” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“There’s been no final decisions made, but we’re on track to finalise what the priorities are for that state at the same time as TEQ towards the end of this month.

“Every race track in Australia is important to motorsport, we’d love to go to all of them, but it’s not feasible to go to every one,” he added, when asked if Winton and Phillip Island are important events.

Seamer confirmed that his team is looking at scaling back the amount of events in the 2020 calendar with the aim to reveal the schedule at Townsville.

“We’re looking at not only the overall number of events, but the spacing between events is really critical to the teams in terms of the resources (they have),” he added.

“If we can get a regular rhythm for our fans and for our teams, as well as getting the right number of rounds, as well as getting them in the right weather patterns, then we will be really happy – and that’s what we’re working towards.

“I know it probably sounds like we’re describing a ‘unicorn’ of a calendar, but the drafting that we’ve done right now, the teams and management are really happy with.

“We’re getting close to what we think will be one of the best calendars we’ve had in a long time.

“We’re working towards that (a Townsville reveal), absolutely working towards that, but there’s a lot of different parties that come into play.

“We’ve just got to make sure that all of the other stakeholders are happy with it.

“As you can imagine, you’ve got broadcasters, you’ve got government, you’ve got sponsors, you’ve got the teams, you’ve got the board, you’ve got local council, you’ve got iEDM from an engineering point of view, so there’s a lot of people to make sure we’ve got in place.”

The 2020 calendar is expected to take shape following a board meeting on June 25.

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