WHILE the Bathurst 12 Hour has been cancelled, there is a good chance Mount Panorama could lure a second Supercars event for 2021.
Supercars, the owner of the 12 Hour, announced on Monday morning that international travel restrictions forced the decision.
With those expected to remain in place, international teams and drivers would be unable to travel to Australia in February to compete in the event, which for several years has served as the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
But while the 12 Hour won't go ahead, it appears that Supercars will be retaining its booking at Mount Panorama for the start of its championship season.
While it has not been confirmed, Supercars CEO Sean Seamer hinted that the category would return to the mountain in February.
"I wish everybody a good time, get home, get home safely, and enjoy some down time with your families and we'll get back here to Bathurst in February," he said.
On Monday, the NSW Government announced the state would host the opening round of the 2021 Supercars championship, without saying where it would be held.
Traditionally, the Adelaide 500 has been the series' opening round.
Councillor Warren Aubin said Bathurst Regional Council hasn't been given confirmation of the plans, but "reading between the lines", it looked likely Mount Panorama would host the opening round.
If it can go ahead, it would be a very important opportunity for the community.
"We need to really embrace the opportunity to have a crowd and have a race at Mount Panorama because, trust me, it's not the fact of looking like we're running a big event, it's council also takes a big hit if there's not an event," Cr Aubin said.
"People have got to realise, that hit we're taking in the budget, that money that we're not getting has to be taken away from projects that we're doing, services have to be cut back. It's pretty major.
"We need to be proactive with getting these events. We've still got to think safety and health, but if the authorities say its safe to go ahead and do it, then we've got to do it."
He is hopeful there will be less COVID restrictions by time February comes.
He said a Supercars round would likely attract a bigger crowd than the 12 Hour, and that would help businesses to make up for what was lost over the Bathurst 1000.