THE Repco Bathurst 1000 has been rescheduled for the second time in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as Supercars and the Australian Racing Group pool their resources to deliver the biggest ‘Great Race’ event in history.
The Bathurst 1000 will now take place over six days from November 30-December 5 with both Supercars and ARG categories on the same bill for the first time.
Both organisations had Bathurst events scheduled for November, but the continuing uncertainty of lockdowns have prompted ARG to cancel its Bathurst International event – whose inaugural running had been postponed from 2020 – and join forces with Supercars on the new, expanded Bathurst 1000 schedule.
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The following categories will be in action across the six days, culminating in the 61st running of the ‘Great Race’ at Mount Panorama:
- Repco Supercars Championship
- Dunlop Super2 Series
- Porsche Carrera Cup
- Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 Series
- TCR Australia
- Touring Car Masters
- GT World Challenge Australia
- V8 SuperUtes
- Trans Am
“The Repco crew across Australia and New Zealand are so excited to bring fans a true celebration of motorsport,” Rob Cameron, Managing Director and CEO of Repco said.
“In a year that has been so challenging for the sport we love I want to thank the team at Supercars and ARG for putting fans first and working collaboratively with us to ensure we can put on a world class event.
“For us – Bathurst is more than a race, it’s a symbol of everything we all love about the sport, and we can’t wait to bring this event to the fans.”
This year’s Bathurst 1000 was originally scheduled for its now-traditional weekend of October 7-10.
However, the rise of COVID cases in Sydney and regional New South Wales – and subsequent lockdowns – prompted Supercars to announce in July that the Bathurst 1000 would move to November 4-7 to increase the likelihood of the event taking place with a crowd.
New South Wales is forecast to hit its target of 80 percent of the eligible population receiving its first vaccine doses in mid-September.
That milestone, which Victoria is on track to reach at the start of October and Queensland at the start of November, has raised hopes that a December Bathurst 1000 could take place with a trackside crowd.
“Supercars and ARG will be working closely with NSW health authorities around COVID-safe measures and Public Health Order requirements to ensure the safety of all staff and patrons attending the event,” a statement from Supercars said.
The rescheduling of the Bathurst 1000 comes amid another re-jigging of the 2021 calendar.
Bathurst replaces the Gold Coast 500 – originally scheduled for the December 3-5 weekend – as the season finale with the Queensland street race cancelled for a second successive year amid the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave in Australia.
The dates and venues for the remaining four rounds have yet to be finalised by Supercars, but are expected to feature double-headers at Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park in late October/mid-November.
“[Bathurst] will become the finale of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship as part of the latest revision of the draft calendar,” a statement from Supercars said.
“Discussions are ongoing with various stakeholders on the four other events that are due to feature on the calendar prior to the Repco Bathurst 1000.”
A December Bathurst 1000 date had been mooted by media reports in recent weeks, while the dates for the closing rounds of the Supercars season are expected to fit around quarantine requirements for teams as well as the start of Australia’s international cricket season.
Supercars and Bathurst 1000 broadcaster Channel 7 is the rights holder for Australian men’s cricket team Test matches played on home soil, headlined this summer by the Ashes Series.
Australia is scheduled to play a Test against Afghanistan in Hobart on November 27-December 1 (although that fixture is looking likely to be cancelled), while the first three Ashes Tests between Australia and England currently occupy the remaining weekends of December.
The updated 2021 Repco Supercars Championship calendar
|1||Feb 26-28||Bathurst||Repco Mount Panorama 500 *|
|2||Mar 20-21||Sandown||Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint|
|3||Apr 17-18||Symmons Plains||Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint|
|4||May 7-9||The Bend||OTR SuperSprint|
|5||Jun 18-20||Hidden Valley||Merlin Darwin Triple Crown|
|6||Jul 9-11||Townsville||NTI Townsville 500 *|
|7||Jul 17-18||Townsville||WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint *|
|12||Nov 30-Dec 5||Bathurst||Repco Bathurst 1000 *|