The motorsport community in the Hunter Valley is devastated the brakes have been put on the Newcastle 500.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes confirmed yesterday she received a call from the Supercars CEO Shane Howard to say the city had not been included in next year’s program.
The NSW Government had committed to funding a one-year extension, rather than the longer 5-year extension that was being negotiated with Supercars.
Newcastle Council was resisting signing a one-year deal due to their community consultation based on a 5-year deal that found nearly 60 per cent of online respondents didn’t want the event to return for the extended period of time.
Singleton Dunlop Super3 Series driver Ryan Gilroy got his first podium at the Newcastle 500 earlier this year and said he’s devastated.
“It’s obviously a little bittersweet to hear the news, we all hoped we’d get the one year extension but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We’re all a little bit devastated, obviously it’s from a higher power and we just have to deal with it unfortunately, but its a good time for us to all reflect and celebrate what was a great event.
“For me and my family it was definitely a dream come true. It was a result and an event we never expected and it was fantastic for myself and all my sponsors who are local and it was fantastic for all the other local racers as well in front of their home crowd and sponsors,.
“It was amazing to see the amount of people come together in one spot and get to witness the event right in their backyard. I think it was huge for the Hunter Valley, there are so many motorsport fans here and for them to be able to come together and watch the spectacle of supercars was very magical.”
A Supercars spokesperson said yesterday they hope to see racing return to Newcastle in the future and some conversations are already underway.