Motor racing promoter PROCAR Australia has scheduled a return to metropolitan circuits Eastern Creek, near Sydney, and Sandown Park in Melbourne in its 2004 championship calendar, announced today.
PROCAR Australia Executive Chairman Ross Palmer also confirmed the date for the third international Bathurst 24-Hour race, 19-21 November.
Eastern Creek and Sandown, not visited since 2001 and 2002 respectively, will host rounds of the PROCAR Champ Series showcasing at least five national categories.
The PROCAR Champ Series will feature the Australian Nations Cup Championship, Australian GT Performance Championship, V8 BRutes Series, Australian Production Car Championship and Australian Formula 3 Championship.
The full Series starts at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 event in March and will be followed by six independent PROCAR rounds in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
However, Formula 3 will open its season in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 23-25 January. F3's major race of the year will be a non-championship event.
Mr Palmer said negotiations were under way for an eighth PROCAR event, which would be in October either on the Gold Coast Indy weekend or at a Queensland or New Zealand venue one week later.
"I'm very happy with this calendar, which ensures we return to the provincial circuits that have attracted the best support in recent seasons, plus metropolitan venues that give us access to large markets and high-quality corporate hospitality facilities," Mr Palmer said.
"The calendar has been designed to take best advantage of an exciting new addition to our off-track attractions in 2004.
"This concept, to be the subject of separate announcement, will add a new dimension to a day at the motor races. And not only will it appeal to our spectators, it also will offer valuable commercial opportunities for teams and their supporters, especially car manufacturers."
Mr Palmer said the number of categories and cars -- up to 180 -- featured in the PROCAR Champ Series, the new off-track concept and popular existing attractions such as the ute musters, would ensure PROCAR fans continued to enjoy Australia's best-value motor racing entertainment programs in 2004.