Newcastle will be the 17th city to host the Supercars opening circuit when the V8s roar to life for the first time in 2022 on the weekend of March 4 – 6.
It will be a bit of a gear change for the Newcastle 500, which had historically closed out the Championship since its debut in 2017 to 2019.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer was excited to lock in the dates for the championship’s return to the picturesque circuit.
“The spectacular shots of Supercars racing on the CBD street circuit while ships sail in the background have become images that are embedded in the minds of tens of millions of motor racing fans around the world,” Mr Seamer said.
“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.”
Two years have passed since the last race due to Covid-19, but with the new dates locked in early there is no doubt the street circuit and the city will be ready for the honour.
City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the confirmation of the event date provides certainty to local residents and businesses.
“Businesses can now prepare for the busy period of trading over the summer holidays through February into the Newcastle 500 in early March, which is ideal,” Cr Nelmes said.
“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.”
It also means Novocastrians can enjoy the city over the holiday period between December and January, unaffected by work on the circuit.
“This timing ensures residents will have no issue accessing our pristine beaches over the summer holidays,” Cr Nelmes said.
Newcastle Council voted at its meeting last night to approve a Notice of Motion for any changes to the current agreements on scheduling, staging and access to be reviewed and approved by the elected Council before they get the green light.
While Supercars are still ironing out plans for ticketing, broadcast, support categories and entertainment, it has committed to working with health authorities and implement COVID-safe measures to meet Public Health Order requirements and ensure the safety of all staff and patrons attending the event.
A cap on the number of attendees has neither been confirmed or ruled out at this stage.
Newcastle is the only event set in stone so far, with details on the rest of the Championship callender are expected to drop in the coming weeks.