New Newcastle 500 date firming for Supercars

Simona De Silvestro in action at the 2019 Newcastle 500

Fans might not have to wait until the end of the season to see Supercars race on the streets of Newcastle after all, has learnt.

For the third consecutive season, a raft of calendar changes appear on the cards as the championship navigates the ever-present hurdles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already, Sydney Motorsport Park has been switched from the season finale to be the new Round 1 due to a necessary delay in the running of the Repco Newcastle 500.

SMP has adopted the March 4-6 slot that Newcastle had been set to fill.

Speculation had pointed to that becoming a possible straight swap, with the popular New South Wales street circuit event resuming its status as the last round of the year.

However, understands Newcastle is firming to host Supercars on the May 21-22 weekend currently assigned to Winton Motor Raceway.

While the calendar situation remains very fluid, including issues caused by the continued hard border stance taken by Western Australia, it’s plausible that Winton would move forward to the April 30 to May 1 slot that Wanneroo Raceway currently occupies.

That would buy time for Supercars to plot a long-awaited return to the nation’s west a little later in the year.

Alternatively, if the WA border does open with suitable time in hand, Wanneroo would stay where it is and Winton could well become a floater.

Winton has fallen by the wayside on multiple occasions since the pandemic hit Australia; besides test days, the rural Victorian circuit last saw Supercars action in May, 2019.

The ITM Auckland SuperSprint is another event clouded in uncertainty due to New Zealand’s similarly strict travel restrictions. Pukekohe Park Raceway is slated for September 10-11.

Adelaide remains a wildcard in the mix, with the South Australian state election in March to determine whether the historic event will be revived.

If the Peter Malinauskas-led opposition party is voted into power, there is potentially room for Adelaide Parklands to become a spectacular season finale – given the last event date currently confirmed for 2022 is Gold Coast (October 28-30).

Alternatively, it could be the ideal platform to launch the Gen3 era next year.

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