Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has given a strong hint that Bathurst will indeed host next year’s championship opener.
Mount Panorama was being considered as the host of the first event of 2021 due to the move of the Superloop Adelaide 500 away from its traditional position and the doubt over the internationally-focused Bathurst 12 Hour event, which Supercars owns.
Speaking from the circuit as part during the Gala Awards presentation after the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Seamer stated that those in attendance would return in around four months’ time.
He also heaped praise on all of those involved in putting on this year’s championship after the regular setbacks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been said a million times but this is a year like no other, and it’s put us under a tremendous amount of pressure,” observed Seamer.
“But the way that we’ve conducted ourselves, the resilience we’ve shown, has proved to the world exactly why we are some of the best in the world at what we do.
“For all of that, everybody in this paddock, in this pit lane, the teams, the Victorian teams, should be really proud of what they’ve achieved.
“It hasn’t just got us to this point right now; it’s set us up very, very well for the next five years.
“So, we come off the back of this year with a lot of great momentum, we’ve got a lot to be excited for in the next five years, but right now it’s time to get back to families, and the people that have made the most sacrifice of all of us; the ones that have missed their loved ones for so much time.
“I wish everybody a good time, get home, get home safely, and enjoy some downtime with your families and we’ll get back here to Bathurst in February.”
The boss of Supercars’ incoming free-to-air broadcaster, Seven’s James Warburton, had also dropped a strong hint of the development in on the day that the new television deal was announced.
“Next year, we’ll be showing seven key races live and free, including the iconic Bathurst 1000, and the Bathurst 12 Hour race, or the Bathurst 500 in ’21,” said Warburton in a video presentation with Seamer, his successor as CEO of the category.
Speedcafe.com understands that the format could replicate that used by the Adelaide 500, among others, namely a pair of 250km races.
Mount Panorama is limited by state legislation to five full circuit closures per year, including the Bathurst Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 12 Hour.
While the latter could be switched to a Supercars Championship event, it is understood that the Australian Racing Group’s TCR enduro prevents it from holding a single 500km race there.
The Bathurst 12 Hour was set to double as a Supercars event when the now concluded season was set to spill into 2021, before it was pared back to a discreet calendar year.
The 2021 calendar is due to be announced this month.