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Newcastle 500 called off for 2024

NEWCASTLE will drop off the Repco Supercars Championship calendar next year, the city’s Lord Mayor has announced.

Nuatali Nelmes confirmed via ABC Newcastle Breakfast radio this morning that the Newcastle 500 will not be renewed for 2024, per her discussion with Supercars CEO Shane Howard.

Speculation has hovered for many months about the event’s future, the 2023 edition having been the final year on its existing contract.

The street race has also faced vocal opposition from some residents.

Nevertheless, both Supercars and the New South Wales government had committed to at least a one-year renewal for the 500, leaving just the local council to tick it off.

As the matter continued to drag on, NSW Premier Chris Minns yesterday took aim at the council and called on them to own a decision one way or another.

Cr Nelmes stopped short of doing that this morning, pointing to Newcastle Member of Parliament Tim Crakanthorp as a roadblock.

“An event of this size and scale would have to be supported by local state MPs for it to ever go ahead, so the decision really does rest with the NSW government,” she said.

Cr Nelmes continued: “Tim has come out quite clearly not supporting the event (following) the consultation that we have done in his particular area and we absolutely respect… his decision.

“And there is no way we’ll be going ahead with an event of that size and scale when your local state representatives don’t support it.”

Mount Panorama is now set to open the 2024 season in a 10-day event spanning February 16-25. That will see the first weekend dedicated to the Bathurst 12 Hour and the second to Supercars’ Round 1.

Supercars owns the Bathurst 12 Hour event.

The February festival would be separate to the annual Bathurst 1000 in October.

As for Newcastle, the jury is out on its future beyond next year.

Supercars has raced through the NSW coastal city’s streets on four occasions, 2017-19 and 2023.

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