GET ready for what could be "the best ever Bathurst 1000".
That was the message from Supercars CEO Sean Seamer on Wednesday morning when it was confirmed that Supercars and the Australian Racing Group will join forces with Bathurst Regional Council to stage a mega season-ending event at the iconic circuit.
Slated to run from November 30 until December 5, it is an event which will feature 10 categories across the six days of racing.
The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown would lead to a merged event and Supercars having confirmed on Monday that the Gold Coast 500, which had been set to act as the season-ender, was cancelled.
It is yet another move in date for the Bathurst 1000 which had originally been set for October 7-10 then was pushed back to November 4-7.
It is the first time the Bathurst 1000 will be raced in December, with an October Great Race timeslot having been a regular on the Supercars calendar since 2001.
"It's been a tough year for motor sport fans but we're confident this is the recipe for the best possible end to the 2021 season," Seamer said.
"I would like to thank [Bathurst] Mayor [Ian] North, Rob Cameron at Repco and John McMellan at ARG for their collaboration over the past few weeks to put together what might be known as the best ever Repco Bathurst 1000."
Though the new event means that the ARG's inaugural Bathurst International, which had been scheduled for November 26-28, has been cancelled, all its categories are included on the expanded Bathurst 1000 program.
It's a prospect which has ARG chief executive officer Matt Braid excited.
"This major event at Bathurst is going to be one of the biggest spectacles ever seen in Australian motor sport, and it is a credit to all parties for putting the sport first," Braid said.
"There's no doubt these are difficult times we live in, so to have this come together with the cooperation of Supercars to benefit all our competitors, commercial partners and most importantly, the fans, it's a huge win for all.
"And there's no better place to hold the grandest of finales to the 2021 motor sport season than at Mount Panorama."
By running the Bathurst 1000 in December as the season finale it is hoped that it will boost the prospect of spectators being able to attend.
Both Supercars and ARG will be working closely with NSW health authorities around COVID-safe measures and Public Health Order requirements in the build up.
"This event will be a great opportunity to grab the family, go camping in the fresh rural air of Bathurst whilst being entertained by a truly dynamic range of motor sport," ARG chairman John McMellan said.
"It is very pleasing when everyone has the same goal which was to make the sport the priority and work collaboratively to deliver something special."
As well as the Supercars' Bathurst 1000, the event will include the Super2 Series, Porsche Carrera Cup, Toyota 86 Series, TCR Australia, Touring Car Masters, the Mount Panorama debut of the open-wheeler S5000 cars, the GT World Challenge Australia, V8 SuperUtes and Trans Am category.
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