Motorsports

Supercars outlines Singapore GP plan


As reported by Motorsport.com, the Australian touring car series seriously investigated a trip to Singapore for the GP as part of its 2023 schedule.

The plan eventually fell over due to freight costs which led to Supercars controversially reclaiming the same mid-September date as Singapore for its revived Sandown 500.

But Supercars hasn’t abandoned Singapore entirely, with CEO Shane Howard confirming that the plan will be revisited again for 2024.

“Yes it will be,” he said. “Absolutely, we would like to be a part of that event, and they would like to have us there.”

“Singapore is very good because of the time zone. And the distance helps, the shorter distance [from Australia].”

It’s understood that Singapore GP organisers are willing to pay for Supercars to appear on the support bill.

However skyrocketing freight costs mean that even with an appearance fee, Supercars is yet to find a profitable path to the event – hence why the plans for 2023 fell over.

Should a Singapore trip be added to the schedule outside of the 12 events required by the broadcast agreement, Supercars would also be required to pay its teams to take part.

That means affordable freight is key to any Singapore deal.

“The impacts of the freight are significant,” he said. “We’re just trying to work on that side of it and get that freight into a cheaper model.

“Our focus, too, going into next year is really on Gen3, to get that right. It buys a bit more time in considering 2024 because we want to know where we are with the cars and the racing. And allows us to look at other models to reduce the freight costs.

“The [freight] costs have increased dramatically. Every business is dealing with those issues. Certainly Formula 1 is as well.

“All I would say is that it’s got to stack up financially for the category and for the promoter.”

Howard ruled out sea freight as a cheaper alternative to air freight due to risks of delays.

That risk is amplified by the fact that Singapore’s usual September slot is so close to the traditional Bathurst 1000 date in early October.

“Sea freight is so unpredictable at the moment,” said Howard. “You could easily get held up or have a dispute on a wharf or something that you’re caught up with.

“You’ve all seen the amount of freighters that are all parked up, waiting to get into port. I don’t think we’d take that risk of a sea freight.”

Supercars is known to be looking to add multiple Formula 1 events to its schedule in future years, including an American race.


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