Newcastle takes up pole position for 2022 Supercars season

03 Dec 2020

Supercars will return to the city in 2022 when Newcastle hosts the season opener of the Repco Supercars Championship series.

The major motorsport event will be back on the Newcastle street circuit after a two-year hiatus caused by COVID-19, shifting from its previous position as the final race of the series to become the much-anticipated season opener.

The Newcastle 500 will also mark the start of what is expected to be a fierce racing rivalry between the Chevrolet Camaro and a new-look Ford Mustang, which will be adapted to suit a new ‘Gen3’ control chassis.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the return of the biggest event on Newcastle’s annual calendar, which provides a multi-million fiscal injection into the local economy and helps put the city on the world stage.

“The Newcastle 500 has been shown through independent research to benefit Newcastle’s economy by more than $30 million over the three-day event, contributing to up to 124 full-time jobs,” Cr Nelmes said.

“As part of the Supercars Australia Championship series, the Newcastle 500 also brings widespread exposure for our city. The 2019 event weekend recorded 344 media stories, reaching a domestic audience of more than 14 million people, with an estimated value of over $2 million.

“Our wider community also recognises the benefits of hosting such a landmark event, with 81 per cent of respondents previously indicating in a Hunter Research Foundation Centre survey that they believe Newcastle and the region benefit from hosting the Supercars Newcastle 500.

“We look forward to welcoming Supercars and their fans back to Newcastle in 2022.”

While the dates for the event are still to be finalised, it is expected to take place in early March 2022. As a result of the new timing, no road closures will take place prior to February 2022. City of Newcastle has also stipulated there will be a shortened timeframe for the dismantling and removal of event-related structures and equipment.

Cr Nelmes said the new timing of the Newcastle 500 was a boon for the city’s major events calendar.

“Moving the Newcastle 500 from November/December to March will diversify our major events calendar, drawing new visitors to the city in autumn while freeing up the CBD during the busy Christmas shopping period,” she said.

“The return of the Newcastle 500 cements our city’s reputation as a destination known for hosting major Australian and international events.

“No city anywhere in Australia offers what Newcastle does in terms of providing stunning aerial pictures of some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. The Newcastle 500 street circuit traces both the City’s coastline as well as its working harbour.

“In recent years the shots of Supercars racing in the foreground while our working harbour operates in the background are images that are embedded into the minds of tens of millions of motor racing fans around the world.”

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said the five-year agreement to host the Newcastle 500 comes to an end next year.

“The City has varied its agreements with Supercars Australia and the NSW Government to host the 2022 event, with discussions around a longer-term arrangement to be finalised mid 2022,” Mr Bath said.

“As part of the agreement, Supercars has committed to providing a locally based community engagement manager for the event.

“City of Newcastle’s commercial terms with Destination NSW remain unchanged.”