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Analysis: 2020 Supercars summer series?

The changes to the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship open up the possibility of switching to a summer-based schedule into 2020, as we examine in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #108.

15 January 2019

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #108. 

The often talked-about change has been acknowledged by Supercars as a possibility and the 2019 calendar paves the way for a more summer-focussed schedule. The 2020 championship could, therefore, run in two parts either side of an extended winter break, transitioning into a summer-based schedule in 2021.

“We will be starting earlier in 2020″ CEO Sean Seamer tells Supercars.com.

“How much earlier, we need to see. We’ve got to understand when the [tennis] Australian Open’s going to take place and, obviously, we’ve got the Bathurst 12 Hour to consider as well.

“Our ambition is to get that 2020 calendar out early next year, and perhaps even release two to three years’ of calendar if we can get that sorted out.

“There will be a period of transition that we need to work through. We’re still working through those conversations with teams and obviously the proprietors of the tracks.”

Moving to summer has a number of advantages over the current schedule, namely moving away from the dominant football codes, the AFL and NRL; racing in daylight savings times away from winter; the possibility to run more twilight and night racing; and condensing the schedule with a more consistent gap between events.

“I’ve been really up front for a while that we want to try and get the sport into the best-possible weather window, making sure that we’re giving our events the maximum opportunity to drive attendance through good weather and also finding clear air from a broadcast point of view” says Seamer.

The Sydney SuperNight event, which was left off the 2019 calendar, is set to return in 2020 as one of the marquee events over the summer.

Another possible gain from the summer move is a date change for the Adelaide 500, shifting the event away from Adelaide’s arts festivals and potentially having the event as a season finale, as the Australian Grand Prix was when held in Adelaide from 1985 to 1995.

Newcastle shapes as a potential season opener if the calendar is inverting, keeping the status of season openers and finales for two of Supercars’ marquee street-circuit events.

Also, having the Bathurst 1000 in the early stages of the season as opposed to the latter stages differentiates and separates the attention the winners of the Great Race and championship receive.

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