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Newcastle joins storied list of season-opening circuits

27 Feb
Newcastle the 17th different circuit to open a season
3 mins by James Pavey
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Newcastle will join a storied list of season-opening venues when it hosts the commencement of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

The first season of the Gen3 era will start with the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

The Newcastle Street Circuit will become the 17th different circuit in 63 seasons of championship competition to host the first round of the year.

Newcastle previously hosted the season finale between 2017 and 2019.

The Australian Touring Car Championship was decided by a single race from the category's inception in 1960 to 1968.

Gnoo Blas in Orange, just an hour west of Bathurst in rural New South Wales, hosted the first ever championship race in 1960.

Amaroo in Sydney's west last opened a season in 1994

Lowood hosted the 1961 race, followed by Longford (1962) and Mallala (1963).

Lakeside staged two races in 1964 and 1967, sandwiched by Sandown (1965) and Bathurst (1966).

Sandown has hosted season-openers on six occasions, most recently in 1998.

The now defunct Amaroo Park Raceway also opened the season six times in nine seasons between 1986 and 1994.

The championship became a multiple-round season from 1969, with Calder Park hosting the season-opener.

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Symmons Plains Raceway hosted the first round of the season 11 consecutive times between 1971 and 1981.

Abu Dhabi was the first overseas venue to open a championship season

The 1996 championship began at a floodlit Sydney Motorsport Park, which hosted four consecutive events in 2021, and opened the 2023 season.

The V8 Supercars era began the following year at a floodlit Calder Park, with Wayne Gardner a surprise winner.

Adelaide opened championship seasons a record 17 times, and first opened the season in 2002.

The parklands circuit also opened the Australian leg of the season in 2010 and 2011, and will be the season finale until at least 2026.

The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi opened the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Catch the first round of the new era of Supercars in Newcastle on March 10-12. Tickets on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

Tracks which have opened ATCC/Supercars seasons

Circuit

Year/s

Gnoo Blas, NSW

1960*

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Lowood, QLD

1961*

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Longford, TAS

1962*

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Mallala, SA

1963*

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Lakeside, QLD

1964*, 1967*

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Sandown, VIC

1965*, 1982, 1984, 1991, 1995, 1998

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Bathurst, NSW

1966*, 2021

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Warwick Farm, NSW

1968*

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Calder Park, VIC

1969-70, 1983, 1987-88, 1997

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Symmons Plains, TAS

1971-81

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Amaroo, NSW

1986, 1989-90. 1992-94

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Winton, VIC

1985

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Eastern Creek, NSW

1996, 1999, 2022

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Phillip Island, VIC

2000-01

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Adelaide, SA

2002-09, 2012-20

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Abu Dhabi, UAE

2010-11

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Newcastle, NSW

2023

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*From 1960 to 1968, the ATCC was decided by a single race

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