The Boost Mobile Super Trucks season will officially end a round shorter than planned. On Monday, the Repco Supercars Championship confirmed the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 at Surfers Paradise has been cancelled for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially scheduled for 3–5 December, the Gold Coast 500 had already been planned as the final round of both the Supercars and Super Trucks calendars. Due to the news, that role is now passed to Sydney Motorsport Park whose Sydney SuperNight will take place on 19–21 November as the trucks’ fourth and last race weekend in 2021.
“Given the evolving and unpredictable COVID situation, it has become increasingly challenging to stage a complex multi-faceted event on the streets of Surfers Paradise for tens of thousands of spectators this year,” stated Supercars CEO Sean Seamer. “We understand that our fans were looking forward to the season finale on the Gold Coast. To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one.
“We thank the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast and Major Events Gold Coast for their ongoing support. We fully intend to return to the Surfers Paradise street circuit in 2022 and we are confident that everything is headed in the right direction for us to do so in spectacular style.”
After being called off in 2020, the race’s 2021 prospects were cast in doubt as COVID continued to impact Australia. Among the chief challenges was trying to set up a street circuit during a pandemic; although the Townsville 500, held on a street course in Reid Park, hosted the Supercars and trucks in July without much trouble, the logistics for Gold Coast were deemed far too difficult to pursue.
Over the weekend, the state of Queensland reported no new cases on Sunday from 12,000 overnight tests after having five the previous day. Still, concerns over potentially locking down have lingered and thus doomed the 500.
“Boost Mobile is committed in supporting motorsport and the fans in Australia,” commented Boost Mobile head Peter Adderton. “It is important for both Supercars and Boost Mobile to hold the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 when fans can come and enjoy what a great event it is. Unfortunately, that’s not the case this year.
“In saying that, the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 will be back bigger and better in 2022 and for 2021 we will continue our ongoing support for a number of drivers and teams. We look forward to seeing them battle on track for the remainder of the 2021 season.”
The Stadium Super Trucks first visited Surfers Paradise in 2015 followed by another date in 2016. To conclude the 2019 season, Gold Coast became the first SST round in Australia since what is now Motorsport Australia lifted the year-long ban on the series. Robby Gordon and Matt Brabham are the most recent winners at Gold Coast.
The cancellation is the third on the Super Trucks’ schedule in 2021 after losing the Perth SuperNight and Auckland SuperSprint. COVID and travel restrictions stemming from it also resulted in the Sydney SuperNight being pushed from August to its current November slot, while the season-opening Tasmania SuperSprint in April was delayed a week. The series’ 2020 slate was wiped out entirely by the pandemic after the first round.
Reports have said the Supercars, who are also set to wrap up their season at Sydney, could move the prestigious Bathurst 1000 to early December with the possibility of forming a multi-day festival with the Australian Racing Group’s Bathurst International. However, it is unlikely that the trucks will join the festival as Bathurst was not on the initial schedule.