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Tuesday, May 28, 2024


THE Newcastle 500 will open the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship on March 10-12, pending approval from Heritage NSW.

Supercars has announced the proposed date for the event’s return as it also pushes for another four years of racing in the city.

The Newcastle 500 was held as the Supercars season finale from 2017-2019 but has not run since due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSW Heritage approval is required for any further racing as the existing application to utilise the Camp Shortland area, which features the Turn 11 hairpin, expired in April.

The Newcastle Council, which is the landowner of the heritage-listed Coal River Precinct concerned, has supported the application to Heritage NSW.

A Supercars statement read: “We can confirm that Supercars has applied to stage the Newcastle 500 for the proposed dates of 10-12 March 2023 (dates subject to approvals), as the Championship opening event.

“Supercars can confirm that permission has been sought with Heritage NSW for the proposed 2023 event date, and another four years of racing in Newcastle.

“That permit would allow all key stakeholders, including Supercars, Destination NSW and City of Newcastle to discuss the future of the event beyond 2023.

“We look forward to working with our key stakeholders on securing this event for Newcastle in the future.”

Jamie Whincup in action in Newcastle. Pic: Supplied

While formal Heritage NSW approval is all that stands in the way of the 2023 Newcastle 500, a new contract will be required to secure the event’s future beyond that.

A City of Newcastle statement added: “City of Newcastle is working with Supercars Australia on a tentative date for a final Newcastle 500 event in 2023 under the existing five-year agreement.

“This final event would be delivered under existing arrangements, the same as the successful events of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“Supercars Australia has submitted a new application under Section 60 (S60) of the Heritage Act 1977 to facilitate the holding of the last Newcastle 500 event in 2023, as the existing S60 for the Camp Shortland area expired in April.

“Whilst this heritage approval is a requirement, the S60 does not in itself provide approval or authority to conduct the race in Newcastle.

“This is provided under the NSW Motor Sports Events Act 2022 and agreements between the NSW Government, Supercars Australia and City of Newcastle.

“The future of the Newcastle 500 beyond the final race is a decision of the NSW Government in the first instance, requiring a new agreement between Destination NSW and Supercars Australia.

“Any inclusion of Newcastle as a potential host city for another five years will be subject to broad community and stakeholder consultation, to be undertaken by City of Newcastle, and a decision of the elected council.”

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