2023 Supercars calendar expected after Bathurst
Friday 7th October, 2022 - 6:00am
The 2023 Supercars calendar will be revealed sometime after this weekend’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
It had become customary, prior to the pandemic years, for the Supercars schedule to be released no later than just after the Bathurst 1000.
This time around it is set to break cover later than usual with a number of negotiations still ongoing.
Supercars is understood to be aiming for a 12-event calendar, the minimum number required under its broadcast deals.
Rounds at Newcastle, Albert Park, Hidden Valley, Townsville, Bathurst, Gold Coast, and Adelaide are already locked in.
It has been reported that Sydney Motorsport Park, Symmons Plains, and Sandown are also safe, while Perth remains in the mix.
That leaves one calendar slot, with New Zealand believed to be the preference as a 12th event, which would mean The Bend and Winton miss out.
However, discussions are ongoing to secure a new venue across the ditch following the closure of Pukekohe Park Raceway.
“My plan was to get back to a normal rhythm with [the] release of the calendar, which is normally on the lead in to Bathurst,” Supercars CEO, Shane Howard told Speedcafe.com.
“I’m still working with a couple of governments in regard to developing the calendar; now it may sound funny, but it’s almost like you’re playing three-dimensional chess on where these things are placed.
“We work with every state government, all their tourism and event companies, we’re working with broadcasters… to work through not having major conflicts and getting clean air.
“By this time of the year we’re normally on about version 20, but we’re not far away from it.”
Hampton Downs Motorsport Park is considered the logical future home of Supercars’ NZ round, though faces the hurdle of negations with funder Auckland Unlimited.
It is also located in the Waikato region rather than Auckland, with questions also lingering over Hampton Downs’ infrastructure.
Taupo International Motorsport Park has also been flagged as an option, with Howard stating Supercars is not ruling “anything out”.
“We got we got a bit blindsided by Pukekohe being cancelled,” he added.
“That was quite late notice for us; everybody wants to be back in New Zealand — Supercars, government and fans — but we’ve got to go through a process.
“We’re working with the New Zealand government through major events and Auckland Unlimited who have been very good to work with they’re fully behind our product, but it just takes time, the government process.
“Obviously, we’ve got to look at the available venues that we have.
“Very sad to lose a race track like Pukekohe, they don’t design circuits like that anymore; so fast, drivers love it, fans love it.
“We’ll look at the other opportunities that we’ve got there, whether it be Hamptons, obviously it’s not far down the road from Pukekohe.
“There’s Taupo as well, but it’s probably three hours from Auckland and a little bit further from Wellington.
“We don’t rule anything out and we’ll work through those opportunities.”
Regarding a 12-event calendar, Howard said: “We are open to additional rounds over and that, but obviously, they have to stack up for everyone; the teams, Supercars, and our partners.
“So we’re open to those opportunities; we’re investigating and working on those opportunities.
“But as the base the calendar we aim for 12 rounds, and then look at the other additional opportunities over and above that.”