Today's release of the 2023 Supercars calendar has confirmed the return of the Sandown 500, on September 15-17, which happens to be the same date and location of Round 6 on the SpeedSeries calendar which was released a month ago.
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However, the Melbourne Racing Club, which owns Sandown, had apparently allowed that to happen despite Supercars never having relinquished the date in question.
“Motorsport Australia was told, as late as Tuesday afternoon, that we still held the booking for Sandown on 15-17 September,” a spokesperson for Motorsport Australia told Speedcafe.com.
“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.”
How the clash may have arisen is an interesting subplot in itself.
It is thought that Supercars, while having the Sandown booking, had drafts of its calendar with circuit TBC on that particular weekend as it sought to try and stand up an event in New Zealand amid the impending closure of Pukekohe.
Australian Racing Group shareholder Barry Rogers and Executive Chairman John McMellan are both listed on the Supercars Board per the championship's 2022 media guide, and the latter is a Director of RACE, which owns Supercars.
However it happened, the clash will, of course, not come to pass, with a new date for the SpeedSeries round to be announced.