The iconic motorsport event, the Bathurst 1000, has been postponed until November this year.
- The Bathurst 1000 race weekend will be postponed until November
- Traditionally held in October, it injects around $25 million to the local economy
- Race fans say the date change is not an issue, if it guarantees the event can go ahead
Organisers, Supercars released an updated event calendar for the 2021 season this morning, with the so-called Great Race to be held over November 4 to 7, rather than its traditional time in October due to the pandemic.
The 1,000-kilometre endurance event at Mount Panorama is a key weekend of the racing year and injects millions of dollars into the economy of Bathurst and surrounding towns.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said organisers were working with New South Wales Health, the Bathurst Regional Council, broadcasters and emergency services to ensure the Great Race can go ahead, with as many fans on-site as possible.
Economic and social impact
For Keith Tucker, who runs an accommodation business at the Mountain and lives on Conrod Straight, the announcement was no surprise.
He expected similar limits to last year’s event would be implemented — no camping at the Mountain and a limit of 20 guests per private property, plus the owners.
“As a motorsport enthusiast, we have close to a couple of hundred people here every year, and it’s just strange and sad, unfortunately,” he said.
The uncertainty of the pandemic had taken a financial toll, with his business recording complete cancellations for July and August, and now they were rolling in for September.
Mr Tucker suspected the event would be postponed again until the opening round of the 2022 season.
Diehard race fan Graeme Moxon attended the race in 2020 like he has done every year since 1968.
If it was completely canned, he said he would be “shattered” and “devastated”.
“it’s Christmas to me. It’s better than Christmas because you don’t have to put up with your relatives.”
He said changing the date would throw a lot of fans plans into disarray, as it no longer lined up with school holidays and many people booked vacations around the October weekend.
Mr Moxon said the postponement was not a disaster if it meant the event could still go ahead in some way.
“Please, everyone do the right thing so we can get this thing going,” he said.