Supercars shock as Gold Coast 600 faces axe

The COVID-19 pandemic is set to claim another Gold Coast sporting institution with the 30th annual GC600 Supercars race on the chopping block.

Supercars administrators met on Saturday afternoon to finalise the release of a new season calendar which Speedcafe.com.au reports will not include the Gold Coast and Newcastle street circuit events.

Logistic challenges around track construction and the threat of having no crowds are believed to be responsible for the decision to axe the October event.

Ford Mustang driver Fabian Coulthard competes in the Gold Coast 600 Supercars race, held at the Surfers Paradise circuit. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Ford Mustang driver Fabian Coulthard competes in the Gold Coast 600 Supercars race, held at the Surfers Paradise circuit. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Supercars and the Queensland Government have been in talks for weeks exploring ways to protect the event from cancellation but uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions and tomorrow's deadline to release the updated Supercars calendar forced their hand.

 

The Macintosh Island circuit takes around six weeks to build each year with occupational health and safety laws in place for construction workers that contradict social distancing regulations, a Supercars official told the Bulletin.

Gold Coast racing identity Brett 'Crusher' May said the decision was disappointing for everyone.

"I think it's a terrible position for fans but that's the world we live in and hard calls have to be made," May said.

"(Supercars) have to put their calendar together the best way they could and the current coronavirus situation doesn't lend itself to street races.

24 May, 2009, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Gold Coaster Brett
24 May, 2009, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Gold Coaster Brett "Crusher" Murray and Ryan Briscoe on the grid 2009, Michael L. Levitt, USA LAT Photographic

"Logistically the GC600 is the toughest motorsport event in the world to put together because it has to be built from scratch.

"It's one of the favourite street course races in the world and (this doesn't mean) it's dead.

"I think it's an opportunity to use it as a refresh and reset, go back to the drawing board and reinvent the event (for next year)."

The Gold Coast 600 signed a five-year deal with the State Government last year to keep the event on the Gold Coast until 2025.

The 2018 event injected $55 million into the local economy, while the potential to add another $25 million through the addition of night racing at future events.

Originally published as Supercars shock as Gold Coast 600 faces axe



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