The round-the-clock GT enduro was set to run on 25-27 February, however it will now take place on 13-15 May.
The postponement has been prompted by the current outbreak of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 on Australia’s east coast, with daily cases currently higher than has been seen at any other point of the pandemic.
NSW alone yesterday recorded 92,264 new positive cases, although that included a backlog of rapid antigen test results, and 22 deaths.
Discussions have been ongoing between event owner Supercars and Intercontinental GT Challenge officials in recent days to determine the best course of action.
It’s now been decided that shifting the event to May, after which the Omicron peak is expected to have passed, is the best way forward.
It’s the second date change for the race, which was originally on a collision course with the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
“This is the best outcome for the event under the current circumstances,” said Supercars COO Shane Howard.
“This new date alleviates pressure on international competitors and freight operators as well as marshals, officials and volunteers who play a critical role in the success of the event every year.
“We have worked closely with Destination NSW, SRO Motorsports Group, Bathurst Regional Council, Motorsport Australia, [Australian Racing Group] and our broadcasters to ensure this date will ensure the best outcomes for all involved and the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
“As we’ve seen, a number of high-profile teams have already committed to attending and we look forward to seeing more international competitors announce their inclusion leading into May’s new date.
“This is a win for fans who have been keen to see this event return to the Australian motorsport calendar for the last two years.”
SRO boss Stephane Ratel welcomed the new date for the IGTC opener.
“It was imperative that Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli returned to Bathurst this year, and the new May date ensures the race can go ahead without any lingering Omicron restrictions,” he said.
“I applaud Supercars’ commitment to finding an alternative weekend during their busy domestic schedule and their efforts in general to stage the race.
“The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS calendar will also be rejigged to accommodate Bathurst’s change, which helps us to maintain a strong national presence.
“I am sure that some of these local entries will also receive IGTC nominations – a cornerstone of the championship’s original philosophy.”
The IGTC is no stranger to postponements, the 2021 season finale – the Kyalami 9 Hours – only set to go ahead next month after being called off late last year.