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Gold Coast night race will be "reinvestigated"

Supercars racing under lights on the streets of Surfers Paradise is off the table this year, but will be considered again on the other side of the global health crisis.

Gold Coast night race will be "reinvestigated"

The Aussie series has been seriously looking at a night race on the famous Gold Coast circuit for several years now, and went close to getting a deal done for the 2020 season.

The plan was given the initial green light by the Queensland government, which provides significant funding for the Gold Coast, and Supercars was working on the final details with local stakeholders.

However before the night race could be confirmed the coronavirus pandemic set in and the 2020 running of the Gold Coast 600 was canned altogether.

The event is set to return to the schedule this year, closing out the 2021 Supercars season on the first weekend of December.

For now it will be a day time event, with government pockets currently not deep enough to bring the night time race to life.

Supercars hasn't abandoned the idea entirely, though, with Chief Operations Officer Shane Howard explaining that the idea will be "reinvestigated" on the other side of the pandemic.

"With COVID there was a lot of funding re-positioned," said Howard. "So it's not on the table for this year. 

"We'll reinvestigate that opportunity as things improve. We think the Gold Coast under lights is a fantastic opportunity and the government supported that. 

"We were reasonably well-advanced with that until COVID hit and the government re-aligned its priorities. We'll reinvestigate that."

Unlike permanent circuits, which can operate as closed-door events if required, street circuit events rely on a crowd to off-set the high track build costs.

That meant all street races, except the season-opening Adelaide 500 that ran pre-COVID, didn't go ahead last season.

The only partial exception was the Townsville event, which is a hybrid parklands circuit and doesn't require the same interruption to the city.

Townsville will go ahead again this year, while the Gold Coast season finale will mark the category's return to a 'proper' street circuit.

According to Howard, there is confidence within the organisation that the Gold Coast race will be able to go ahead without any crowd restrictions. 

"It's in the first week of December, so there's a lot of time for things to get back to normal there," he said. "Queensland's restrictions, they haven't had the issues of Victoria, so we're looking at the Gold Coast at being back to where it was [pre-COVID]."

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Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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