Supercars set to revert from international status

Shane van Gisbergen drives at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina in 2010

The Repco Supercars Championship appears set to revert to National Championship status this year.

Supercars initially gained international status effective 2011, and has been a ‘Restricted International’ championship in recent times.

In practice, the change means little for the foreseeable future, although it does technically have implications for offshore events.

The ability to hold up to six international events was cited as a benefit of the decision made by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in 2010.

Ironically, that came as Bahrain was dropped, ostensibly due to a crowded programme at the Sakhir circuit; Supercars continued to visit Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina, but only for two more years; and the Circuit of The Americas featured on the calendar just once, in 2013.

A mooted event in Kuala Lumpur failed to progress beyond a five-car demonstration in mid-2015, and the only non-Australian circuits which have been set to host the category since then have been Pukekohe or Hampton Downs.

As was the case prior to 2011, Supercars would be free to include those New Zealand venues on its calendar, due to a trans-Tasman agreement.

Neither, however, featured last year due to travel restrictions in both countries, and any idea of taking an Australian-based championship to a foreign continent at this point in time would arguably be optimistic to say the least.

There is therefore little more benefit to holding international status than the possible prestige of doing so, which could go some way to explaining the change in Supercars’ situation.

The championship would, of course, continue to come under significant FIA control via the local ASN, Motorsport Australia.

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