30TH ANNIVERSARY GOLD COAST RACE CANCELLED

The Gold Coast event last took place in 2019. Pic: Supplied

THE Gold Coast street race has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic for the second year in succession.

Supercars has today confirmed the Surfers Paradise event will not be held in 2021 following reports in local media on Friday.

It had been scheduled as the season finale on December 3-5; a date now expected to be taken by the Repco Bathurst 1000 as part of the latest shakeup to the 2021 calendar.

NEWS: Nick Percat splits with Brad Jones Racing

RETRO: Neil Crompton’s bittersweet Indycar test

In a statement, Supercars explained that the Surfers Paradise event has been cancelled this year “due to ongoing safety and logistic concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Given the evolving and unpredictable COVID situation, it has become increasingly challenging to stage a complex multi-faceted event on the streets of Surfers Paradise for tens of thousands of spectators this year,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

“We understand that our fans were looking forward to the season finale on the Gold Coast. To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one.

“We thank the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast and Major Events Gold Coast for their ongoing support.

“We fully intend to return to the Surfers Paradise street circuit in 2022 and we are confident that everything is headed in the right direction for us to do so in spectacular style.”

John Andretti was the inaugural winner on the Surfers Paradise streets. Pic: an1images.com

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first running of the Gold Coast street event, which from 1991-2008 took place for American Indycar/Champ Car open wheelers.

Supercars became the main act in 2009 after the international A1 Grand Prix series failed to show, leading to the creation of the Gold Coast 600 format a year later.

This year’s event was to be run under the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 banner, made up of two 250km races.

Confirmation of the Gold Coast event’s fate follows an announcement on Friday that the planned October 22-24 Phillip Island Supercars round has also been scrapped.

A revised 2021 Repco Supercars Championship schedule is expected to be revealed shortly.