The Hunter Valley region eagerly anticipates the arrival of Supercars – Auto Action

The Hunter Valley region eagerly anticipates the arrival of Supercars – Auto Action
The Hunter Valley region eagerly anticipates the arrival of Supercars – Auto Action

Supercars in the Hunter Valley: Looking for Alternative Options

Despite the cancellation of the 2024 Newcastle 500, the Hunter Valley region is determined to keep Supercars in the area and is actively searching for alternative street circuit options. Local campaigners in Maitland and Cessnock have started pushing for the event to be held outside of Newcastle.

The Newcastle 500, which took place in March and marked the beginning of Gen3, was the last event to be held under the inaugural contract that started in 2017. However, the City of Newcastle Council announced that the contract could not be renewed, resulting in the loss of the seaside street circuit from the calendar.

As a result, the 2024 Supercars season is likely to begin at Bathurst in February, similar to 2021 with a sprint event following the 12 Hour race.

Despite this setback, both Supercars and the NSW Government have expressed their hopes of returning to racing on the streets of Newcastle in the future. However, some locals in the Hunter Valley are campaigning to bring the event to nearby Cessnock and Maitland, which are both less than 50km inland from Newcastle.

The Hunter Valley region has a strong Supercars fanbase, with many community members attending both the Newcastle 500 and Bathurst 1000 events. Cessnock is also the hometown of Allan Grice, a legendary touring car driver who won the Bathurst 1000 in 1986 and 1990.

Cessnock Mayor Jay Suvaal has expressed his support for keeping Supercars in the Hunter Valley region and is open to working with the organization to find a suitable track location. Wayne Russell, a local racer and Australian Production Cars regular, believes that Cessnock would be an ideal location for the event.

Potential track locations in Cessnock include the airport and back roads through the region’s famous “wine country.” In Maitland, a social media page called “Maitland to host Supercars” has gained hundreds of followers within days of its creation.

Clint Ekert, a representative from the Cessnock Chamber of Commerce, believes that the economic benefits brought by the Newcastle event make it worth pursuing the idea of hosting Supercars in Cessnock and Maitland. He suggests that the two areas could work together to make it happen.

While Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen is disappointed to see Newcastle go, he emphasizes that successful street races rely on public support, citing the long-running Gold Coast and Adelaide events as prime examples.

Time will tell if this campaign gains traction with Events NSW, the state government, and eventually Supercars. The 2023 Gold Coast 500 is currently taking place this weekend.

Author Quote: “We’re excited about the potential of bringing Supercars to Cessnock and Maitland. It would be a great opportunity to showcase our region and boost tourism.” – Thomas Miles

Author Conclusion: “The Hunter Valley region’s enthusiasm for Supercars is evident, and their efforts to find alternative options outside of Newcastle show their commitment to keeping the event in the area. It remains to be seen if Cessnock or Maitland will become the new home for Supercars, but the campaign is a promising starting point.” – Thomas Miles

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