THE Repco Supercars Championship will have its latest start to the season in three years after confirming the date of the 2022 season-opening Newcastle round.
Next year’s championship will get underway on the Newcastle Street Circuit on March 4-6, which marks the first time since 2019 that the season has not begun in February.
Newcastle’s move to start the 2022 season was flagged by Supercars when it announced the draft calendar for the 2021 season all the way back in December 2020.
Supercars said it will release further details on the 2022 calendar in coming weeks, while information for the Newcastle event on ticketing, support categories and whether it will be one of the races broadcast live on Seven will be announced in due course.
Newcastle’s return restores one of Supercars’ flagship events to the calendar; the championship last visited the city’s picturesque street circuit in 2019 with the onset of COVID forcing the cancellation of Newcastle’s round in 2020 and 2021.
It takes over the marquee season-opening slot following the cancellation of the Adelaide 500, having previously served as the final round of the championship in 2017-2019.
“Newcastle and the Hunter enjoy a huge racing supporter base and I’m confident they will love the promotion to the season opener and will continue to pour into the city for the three days in massive numbers,” Nuatali Nelmes, Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle, said.
“This is a welcome announcement for our residents and businesses which confirms that the Christmas and January holidays will be unaffected by work on the circuit.
“This timing ensures residents will have no issue accessing our pristine beaches and parks throughout November, December and all of January.
“Businesses can now prepare for the busy period of trading over the summer holidays through to February, with another boost in the first week of March when more than 150,000 racing fans flood the east end and Foreshore.”
Supercars said it will work closely with health authorities around COVID-safe measures and Public Health Order requirements to ensure the safety of all staff and patrons attending the event, while all teams and officials will follow appropriate health guidelines throughout the event.
“We’re thrilled to have locked in our 2022 Championship opener as a return to the stunning Newcastle Street Circuit,” Sean Seamer, Supercars CEO, said.
“The spectacular shots of Supercars racing on the CBD street circuit have become images that are embedded into the minds of tens of millions of motor racing fans around the world.
“Newcastle has established itself as one of the most popular stops on the Supercars calendar with both fans and drivers and we look forward to seeing as many familiar faces as possible trackside in March.”