Organisers close to finalising Australian F1 support categories
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 30th November, 2021 - 1:00pm
Organisers of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix are close to finalising the categories which will make up the undercard to the event.
Supercars is set to top the bill which will also feature a return of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia among others.
It is expected the Australian Racing Group will have at least one of its headline categories on the bill, with S5000 and TCR front-runners.
Both appeared as supports in 2020, and even took to the Albert Park venue, before the event was shut down ahead of F1’s opening practice session on Friday morning.
“The ARG guys, with their stable of categories, including S5000 and TCR, they’re in the mix,” Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, told Speedcafe.com.
“Porsche will be part of the programme there, they’ve got a very, very slick new GT3 Cup car.
“We expect that probably within the next week or two we’ll have the programme finalised with respect to the support categories,” he added.
“We’re just inking some of those more formally with contracts and continuing some dialogue.
“Our intention would be that we fully announced the support programme, key support categories, this side of Christmas.
“That’s going to be really, really important for us to do.”
A key consideration is the timing of next year’s event.
The April 7-10 slot sees the race move out of daylight savings, leaving organisers with more than 90 minutes less daylight each day.
That will see a rejig in Formula 1 session times, which will then flow on to the supporting cast.
“The one thing that we’ve still got to do, and this is why we’re just juggling it is because we’re still finalising with Formula 1 the race time,” Westacott explained.
“That necessitates an adjustment to race categories, and then we’re just going to have a look at the whole format of the track programme, the key race programme alignment with broadcasts, and the alignment with the overall entertainment package that the fans will get at the event.”
Interest in next year’s event from fans has already proved stronger than initially expected, with organisers revealing they will increase the grandstand offering as a result.
The 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will be the third round of the season, and the first F1 event in Australia since 2019 following the cancellation of events in 2020 and 2021.