Two of Australia’s biggest players in motorsport have clashed after both laying claim to Sandown on the same weekend in 2023.
In October, SpeedSeries organizers the Australian Racing Group and Motorsport Australia announced a collaborative calendar that included a date at Sandown on September 15-17.
On Wednesday, Supercars announced its long-awaited calendar and the Sandown 500’s return, also on September 15-17.
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A draft version of the Supercars calendar was circulated in recent months that featured a TBC slot with the aforementioned date but with the Sandown 500 in August.
The first Motorsport Australia knew of the date clash was Tuesday when Supercars sent an embargoed press release of its 2023 calendar.
The clash left the governing body bemused, claiming it booked the date long before Supercars did.
Supercars also claimed it had the date secured, despite the SpeedSeries calendar release last month.
It’s since been confirmed the Melbourne Racing Club double-booked the date.
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Motorsport Australia has confirmed to Wide World of Sports that it will move the SpeedSeries date.
A new date has yet to be confirmed, though it’s understood the SpeedSeries event will not move far from its original date.
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“Motorsport Australia was told, as late as Tuesday afternoon, that we still held the booking for Sandown on 15-17 September,” a Motorsport Australia spokesperson told Wide World of Sports.
“Today we have now discovered the circuit has clearly been double booked, which is certainly frustrating given we announced our calendar and locked in this date some time ago.
“In the interests of everyone involved, we have agreed to move the SpeedSeries booking to a new date to be confirmed.”
Ironically, there is a crossover of ownership between the two categories with Barry Rogers a shareholder in Supercars and the Australian Racing Group which runs SpeedSeries.
It means next year’s SpeedSeries calendar currently has two events with some element of uncertainty attached.
Symmons Plains will host the SpeedSeries opener on February 24-26 with its Race Tasmania event.
The Bathurst 6 Hour will then take place on April 7-9 at the famous Mount Panorama.
The third round of the SpeedSeries is currently listed to take place at an as-yet-to-be-confirmed Victorian circuit on May 26-28.
Sydney Motorsport Park will host the fourth event on June 23-25 before heading north to Queensland Raceway on August 11-13.
Sandown hosts the penultimate round of the season, sometime in September.
The season then draws to a close with the Bathurst International on November 10-12, which will double as a round of the TCR World Tour.
The TCR Australia Series has yet to confirm its calendar in full, however, it’s expected it will feature at all of the aforementioned events except the Bathurst 6 Hour.
2023 SpeedSeries Calendar
Symmons Plains – February 24-26
Mount Panorama April 7-9
TBC – May 26-28
Sydney Motorsport Park – June 23-25
Queensland Raceway – August 11-13
Sandown Raceway – TBC
Mount Panorama – November 10-12
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