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Supercars investigating Bend enduro for 2020

Tom Howard

Wednesday 19th June, 2019 - 6:00am

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The Bend Motorsport Park

Supercars is investigating the prospect of holding an endurance round at The Bend Motorsport Park next season.

As previously reported, the state-of-the-art South Australian circuit, which opened its doors last year, has been earmarked as a potential host venue for a Pirtek Enduro Cup round.

Speedcafe.com understands the circuit could host the opening round of next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup with Sandown, that has traditionally held a 500km race, reverting to a single driver, SuperSprint format.

Currently, the Pirtek Enduro Cup features the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, the Vodafone Gold Cast 600 and Penrite Sandown 500, a trio of events that has been a mainstay since 2013.

The Bend Motorsport Park is gearing up to host the second event of a five-year deal with Supercars in August.

Championship boss Sean Seamer has however confirmed that talks have been held with the circuit in regard to the possibility of hosting enduro events at the facility.

Given the circuit’s stature and length, it has characteristics that would lend itself to hosting a showpiece Supercars enduro event in the future with the championship keen to evaluate the possibility.

“Obviously we’ve been talking to the guys at the Bend about what they want to do with that facility in the future,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

The start to the first ever Supercars race at the Bend Motorsport Park in 2018

“They see it as something that was purpose-built for an endurance round.

“They would also like to be a little bit later in the year, so we’re talking to them about that.

“We’ve obviously got to be mindful between the spacing of that event and the Adelaide 500.

“We’re not saying that Sandown won’t be an enduro, but we are considering taking The Bend as an enduro.”

Sandown is in the final year of its current deal with Supercars with the circuit keen to strike a new multi-year agreement having completed the first of a two phases of safety upgrades.

Ahead of last year’s event changes were made to the run off at Turn 1 and the barriers at Turn 6.

Turn 6 is expected to undergo further upgrades before this year’s race which is now set to take place in November instead of its usual September slot.

Sandown has accommodated a range of race formats over the years having forsaken the 500km race in 1999-2002 and from 2008-2011 when the race was held at Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island respectively.

Supercars is in the midst of finalising its 2020 calendar ahead of an anticipated launch at next month’s Watpac Townsville 400.

Speedcafe.com understands that events at Winton and Philip Island are at risk of dropping off the schedule.

The series is set for a high level board meeting next week to discuss next year’s schedule.

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