A MARCH 10-12 slot for next year’s return of the Newcastle 500 is firming after receiving the green light from the city’s local government.
Supercars last month tentatively announced the event will run on the second weekend of March 2023, having not been held since November 2019.
Newcastle Mayor Nuatali Nelmes this morning confirmed Newcastle City Council has officially voted in favour of the proposed dates.
“The Newcastle 500 could return to the city’s streets in March next year after councillors voted to support new dates for the final event to be held under the existing agreement between Supercars Australia and City of Newcastle,” Cr Nelmes wrote on social media.
“The event would be held in Newcastle on 10-12 March 2023 as the season-opening race, although its staging is still subject to approval from State Government agencies including the Heritage Council of NSW, NSW Office of Sport and Destination NSW.
“Supercars Australia is awaiting the outcome of its application under Section 60 (S60) of the Heritage Act 1977 to facilitate holding the last Newcastle 500 event under the existing agreement, as the existing S60 for the Camp Shortland area expired in April 2022.
“The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the final race scheduled under the existing contract between Destination NSW, City of Newcastle and Supercars Australia from proceeding in 2021 and 2022.
“Council’s support of the March 2023 date ensures clarity for local business and residents. Newcastle could continue as one of Supercars’ premier events, delivering massive promotion for the city and region, while avoiding the previous impact to east end businesses in November and December when Christmas end-of-year trading was occurring.
“Clarifying these new dates in March provides a good alternative to the previous season-closing events in terms of maximising the potential of the event from an economic perspective while also minimising disruption to the community and business operators.”
Newcastle would represent the first event for the Gen3 era of Supercars, when the Chevrolet Camaro replaces the Holden Commodore.
Albert Park is likely to host Round 2, given Supercars will feature as a support category at the 2023 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix across March 30 to April 2.
In other calendar news, Supercars CEO Shane Howard has publicly stated Sandown will be on next season’s calendar, whether it’s back in its 500km endurance format or not.
Adelaide is a lock as the 2023 season finale, although dates have not yet been named.
Pukekohe Park Raceway will not return after this year, but may be replaced by another New Zealand venue.