The Aussie series has formally locked in its 2022 season opener as Newcastle prepares to return to the calendar.
The street circuit, which hosted the season finale between 2017 and 2019, was dropped from the 2020 schedule due to the pandemic, before missing out in 2021 as part of a new deal for the season-opening slot for 2022.
“We’re thrilled to have locked in our 2022 championship opener as a return to the stunning Newcastle street circuit,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
“The spectacular shots of Supercars racing on the CBD street circuit have become images that are embedded into the minds of 10s of millions of motor racing fans around the world.
“Newcastle has established itself as one of the most popular stops on the Supercars calendar with both fans and drivers and we look forward to seeing as many familiar faces as possible trackside in March.”
As it stands the Newcastle opener is the only confirmed date on the 2022 schedule, with the category currently working through the remaining events and where they’ll fall on the calendar.
According to Seamer, the series is taking a “cautious approach” to its scheduling as it looks to avoid a third year of significant disruptions and mid-season revisions due to COVID-19 restrictions and state border closures.
That is likely to involve the series avoiding jurisdictions with more conservative border controls and lofty vaccination targets, namely Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand, until later in the season.
“The way that we will finalise the 2022 calendar, which we’re going through right now, is minimising our exposure to states that may not be at the vaccination targets that they like,” Seamer explained.
“What does that mean? Taking a cautious approach to when we want to go to Perth and New Zealand in particular, and to a lesser extent Queensland.”
Events in all three of those states/countries have been cancelled this year due to issues with borders.
Supercars did try to make it into Queensland as part of its revised end to the 2021 season, but the costs of the required quarantine bubble were ultimately deemed too high.