Supercars would race for points at Australian GP in 2021
Friday 25th September, 2020 - 12:50pm
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says a new broadcast deal will not affect the championship’s points-paying status at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix should the event go ahead in 2021.
Supercars has long supported the Australian Grand Prix, first appearing on the undercard in 1985 as a non-championship round of the Australian Touring Car Championship.
Supercars has continued to race as a support category almost every year since – bar 2007 – transitioning from the Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit to the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit in 1996.
However, the event only became a points-paying round of the championship in 2018 when a six-year contract extension was signed with Formula 1 in 2017.
That will mean the Melbourne 400 will feature at the Australian Grand Prix through to 2023.
Seamer said the points paying status of the event will not change despite a newly signed broadcast deal with Foxtel and the Seven Network.
The Seven Network will carry free-to-air coverage of six rounds each year, including the Repco Bathurst 1000 plus a seventh event in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
“If we’re at the AGP we’ll be racing for points,” said Seamer.
“Any race we do needs to be part of the championship.
“With the cost of going racing, I don’t think we’ll be doing any exhibition races in the short to medium term.”
Asked how Supercars would balance its broadcast deal with possibly up to three broadcasters, Seamer replied, “We’ll work through that with Fox and Seven once the event’s confirmed.
“Let’s just get AGP locked in and then we can talk about the coverage.”
Neither Supercars nor Formula 1 has released calendars for the 2021 season, with the former set for a release around the time of this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Formula 1 often reveals its calendar around late August, but as yet has not revealed a provisional 2021 line-up.
Seamer said he is awaiting confirmation that next year’s grand prix will go ahead as planned.
“I, like everybody else, (am) awaiting confirmation that the event is going ahead and from there we’ll figure out what we’re going to do,” said Seamer of the broadcast arrangement.
“We’ll work through that when we get to the AGP. The first thing we’ve got to do is we’ve just to get the event confirmed, and then we’ll work through detail.”