Supercars targeting 15 events in 2024
By Mark Fogarty
Friday 26th May, 2023 - 6:00am
Supercars is aiming to increase next year’s calendar to at least 15 events, with an appearance on the F1 Singapore GP undercard still a possibility.
That’s according to Supercars ‘king pin’ Barclay Nettlefold, major shareholder of the series-owning Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises (RACE) consortium, and chairman of the RACE and Supercars boards.
In a rare interview, Nettlefold revealed Supercars’ plan to race more often in 2024, conceding that this year’s schedule of 12 rounds is not enough.
The elusive V8 racing figurehead also confirmed a return to New Zealand was a top priority, forecasting an entertainment extravaganza at hot favourite Taupo.
“We’re working very hard … on the future of what we can do with the sport in regards to doing more than 12 races a year,” Nettlefold told Speedcafe.
“For a start, getting back to New Zealand on a long-term basis with government support. Our fans love us so much over there.
“We want to get back over there where we can actually invest in behind it and turn it into an entertainment festival with Supercars as the hit act.”
Nettlefold has extensive media interests in NZ, owning a string of radio stations.
He agreed that Supercars needs to race more often to retain interest during the year.“If you talk to anyone … I mean, the drivers will want to race as much as they can,” he said.
“So we need to get our calendar up more. If we can get up to 15 in the next calendar turn, all going well, that would be great for the sport – and then we can expand more from there.
“As the sport grows, as we invest more, we believe we’ll be able to get it up to a level that we should be more constant and relevant on [fortnightly] basis.”
Nettlefold confirmed he wants at least 15 events next year.
“We’re trying, but at the end of the day, everything’s got to line up, doesn’t it?” he said.
“You have to line up your event calendar … we’re trying very hard to [expand to 15 events next year]. That would be fantastic for Supercars, for our fans and for the teams.”
He also indicated that talks to get Supercars on the F1 Singapore GP support race program were continuing for next year.
“Everything’s possible and everything’s open for discussion,” he hedged. “We’re having the live discussions with all people.”
The Singapore GP is an outsider, with NZ set to return with a round at Taupo.
Other candidates are Queensland Raceway, Winton and Phillip Island.
Supercars is hoping to secure NZ and a Newcastle 500 renewal by the end of this month, aiming to release the 2024 schedule by the Bathurst 1000 in October at the latest.
One change already gazetted is moving the Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains back to late March, when the weather is warmer.
Last weekend’s visit to the Apple Isle was most notable for chilly weather, which affected the crowd.
Claimed attendance over three days was 29,000 – a far cry from pre-COVID, earlier warmer weather weekend crowds of around 50,000.
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