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HomeNewsSupercars clash forces SpeedSeries date change

Supercars clash forces SpeedSeries date change

MOTORSPORT Australia has reluctantly accepted a change will need to be made to the 2023 SpeedSeries schedule in the wake of Supercars’ calendar announcement.

Tensions had erupted in the past 24 hours once it became clear that the reborn Sandown 500 would be announced as taking place on September 15-17.

That very date and venue had been listed on the 2023 SpeedSeries calendar more than a month ago by Motorsport Australia and the Australian Racing Group.

Initially, a showdown appeared on the cards, with neither party willing to budge, each claiming it held the rights to the booking.

However, circuit owner the Melbourne Racing Club has since informed the relevant parties that it has awarded the mid-September fixture to the Repco Supercars Championship.

“Motorsport Australia was told, as late as Tuesday afternoon (November 22), that we still held the booking for Sandown on 15-17 September,” a Motorsport Australia spokesperson said in a statement to V8 Sleuth.

“Today we have now discovered the circuit has clearly been double booked, which is certainly frustrating given we announced our calendar and locked in this date some time ago.

“In the interests of everyone involved, we have agreed to move the SpeedSeries booking to a new date to be confirmed.”

The saga is the latest chapter in a simmering storyline between ARG and Supercars owners RACE, of which ARG majority shareholders Barry and Garry Rogers are involved.

There have been several flashpoints in that relationship, most notably relating to the handling of a supposed buyout approach of RACE by Belgian company FanTech.

Regardless, the highly anticipated return of Supercars’ Sandown 500 had long been expected to come in August, with various options believed to have been explored.

It was originally tipped that a September round would occur in New Zealand, if a deal could be struck, or otherwise Tailem Bend.

The Bend now has been moved forward to August 18-20, clearing the way for back-to-back enduros (with the Repco Bathurst 1000 running October 5-8).

Supercars last ran a September Sandown round in 2018, with ARG doing so both in 2019 and 2022.

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