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SA 'disrespected' as Supercars dump The Bend for 2020

Sport

South Australia’s The Bend raceway has lost its scheduled September race, prompting the track’s owners to declare Supercars had not treated the state with respect.

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In a recast of the season announced today, Supercars’ Bathurst finale has been scrapped with the 2020 season to finish under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park in December.

A proposed visit to New Zealand in January has been dumped due to pandemic restrictions, while the event at South Australia’s The Bend circuit in September has also been dropped from the 11-round calendar.

Under the revisions, the September stop will now be at Melbourne’s Sandown circuit, returning it to its traditional pre-Bathurst 1000 position.

The decision prompted a scathing response from the Tailem Bend track’s managing director Sam Shahin.

“Supercars owe a big apology to South Australia, and the many South Australian businesses and tourism operators that rely on event goers for their livelihoods, particularly at a time when their business has already been devastated by COVID restrictions,” he said in a statement.

“Supercars do what’s best for Supercars. We have endeavoured for years to satisfy the great appetite for motorsport in SA. We’ve answered the calls with the best motorsport facility in the world but it seems the power of the Eastern States yet again wins the day, and SA misses out.

“I am greatly disappointed for the greater public of South Australia that have been sold out, sold short of the wonderful spectacle that was to unfold in September.”

He said Supercars “will need to demonstrate how they can retain the confidence of the South Australian public in the future”.

“South Australia’s rich motorsport history is not being afforded the respect it thoroughly deserves.”

Shahin said the implications of the decision were being worked through.

“Event ticket holders will be contacted by Ticketek on how to receive a full refund. The Bend will contact all members and corporate partners regarding next steps in a separate email.”

Supercars released a reorganised calendar in May which extended the 2020 season into February but chief executive Sean Seamer said following discussions with teams and broadcast partners further revisions had been made.

“The calendar announced in May was based on the best information we had at the time,” Seamer said.

“With an eye on 2021, teams and broadcast partners have agreed it is in all parties’ best interests commercially and competitively to finish this year’s campaign in December and start the new season in the New Year.”

The 2020 Supercars championship resumes at Sydney Motorsport Park next weekend.

THE REVISED 2020 SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

June 27-28 – Sydney SuperSprint, Sydney Motorsport Park

July 18-19 – Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria

August 8-9 – Darwin Triple Crown, Hidden Valley Raceway

August 29-30 – Reid Park Street Circuit, Townsville

September 19-20 – Sandown International Motor Raceway, Victoria

October 8-11 – Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama

October 31-November 1 – Wanneroo Raceway, Perth

November 21-22 – Symmons Plains Raceway, Tasmania

December 12-13 – Sydney SuperNight, Sydney Motorsport Park

– with AAP

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