General Sport Motorsport

Why the next seven weeks in Australian motorsport will be the best ever

As a major Aussie motorsport fan, the last few months have been a bit tough. Not since the Townsville SuperSprint in July have I had any Aussie motorsport to sink my teeth into. Thankfully, the gripping 2021 Formula 1 season and NASCAR over in the US have been able to salvage my regular weekend viewing to satisfy my love for burning rubber. But for me personally, there is nothing like our Supercars here in Australia.

With Covid destroying any hope for a normal calendar, I was thrilled when it was announced a couple of weeks ago that Supercars were back, and back in a big way. Over the next seven weeks starting from October 29, it might just be the best seven weeks of Australian motorsport that there has ever been.

Why is that? Well, it is just the sheer volume and variety or motorsport that we are going to get. And there will be a lot of record breaking as well. To start with, there is going to be four straight rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park, otherwise known as Eastern Creek. We’ve never seen so many rounds in a row at one track and it will absolutely be a challenge for all teams.

Not only will there be 11 races throughout the four weeks worth of action, but there will be plenty of action run under lights. That’s right, night races are back for the first time since last year. Not only that, but the second round in the quadruple header will feature two night races.

This will be only the fifth round in Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars history that has featured two night races in the round, and is only the third time on Australian soil. Night racing in Australia returned at Barbagallo (Wannaroo Raceway) near Perth in 2019 after a drought of 22 years, when Calder Park hosted the opening round of the season. Overseas however, night racing featured all the way over in Abu Dhabi when the Yas Marina Circuit hosted the opening round of the Supercars season in 2010 and 2011.

Because of the darker conditions, teams in the past have celebrated this by running new liveries, and this year is no different. Tim Slade’s Mustang from the Tim Blanchard Racing outfit will be running this special Dayco reflective livery, which will look awesome on track under those lights.

While these four rounds will be amazing, it is essentially a warm up for Bathurst, which is where the true entertainment will come from. It was agony to have to wait for the Bathurst 1000 until December (the first Bathurst 1000 to be held in December in fact), but it will be worth it because instead of the usual four day celebration of Aussie motorsport, it will be six whole days of perfection.

Because of Covid, three separate Bathurst events have been rolled into one, which means that rather than having Supercars with four or five support categories, we have close to 10.

Standing so close to the car that finished 3rd in the 2007 Bathurst 1000. Now racing in Super3, The Super2 and Super3 categories will be racing in December in the Bathurst 1000 race week. Photo: Jordan Treloar

While the Bathurst schedule is yet to be finalised (I am not surprised there, imagine trying to have to fit that many cars into the one paddock area at once), we will get to see the Touring Car Masters, TCR Australia, Porsche Carrera Cup, Super2 and Super3, the Toyota 86 Series, TransAm and all the other exciting categories that will be on show. But of course, the race we want to see is the Bathurst 1000 with the Supercars roaring around Mount Panorama striving for that Peter Brock Trophy.

Not only will all drivers be chasing Bathurst glory, but as the final round of the year for most if not all of these categories, many worthy champions will be crowned. What a week indeed.

So while the last few months has been a bit baron in terms of on track action, it will be well worth it. Fingers crossed that we will get big crowds, especially at Bathurst, because it is that atmosphere that makes Bathurst and Australian motorsport so damn special.

Australian motorsport is back. The next few weeks will be the best we have ever seen. I for one will be trying to take it all in because we are unlikely to see such a festival of speed ever again.

Now that was a crowd. Hopefully we can return to 2019-style crowds at the Bathurst 1000. Bonus points if you spot The Stig. Photo: Jordan Treloar

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