Key details around the Seven Network’s return to Australian motorsport coverage have been confirmed ahead of the opening round of the Australian Racing Group’s championships at Symmons Plains Raceway in January.
The Tasmanian event, featuring TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters and Trans Am racing, will mark the much-anticipated return of motorsport to the screens of Seven, and is set to include 12 hours of live coverage across the unique Monday and Australia Day Tuesday event.
On the free-to-air channel 7mate, there will be two hours of coverage on Monday, followed by five hours on Australia Day.
A huge 12 hours of coverage will be live-streamed on Seven’s commercial free-to-air BVOD platform, 7plus, over the two days.
For the network that pioneered motorsport coverage here in Australia and around the world through its famous Bathurst 1000 broadcasts that started in the 1970s, the event will mark the start of a season of motorsport on Seven that includes ARG’s suite of categories and events, plus broadcasting of the Supercars Championship.
Seven motorsport in January
Monday, January 25
Tuesday, January 26
ARG and the Seven Network have also confirmed the broadcast team that will bring the coverage to life at all seven ARG events in 2021, including the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships events.
Seven’s Mark Beretta will lead the coverage and will draw upon his intimate knowledge of the sport and its personalities.
7SPORT presenter Abbey Gelmi will add motorsport to her resume, assisting Beretta in the host role at selected rounds. Gelmi has worked at Seven on its AFL, cricket and horse racing coverage, as well as its reality program House Rules. She will also play a role in the network’s upcoming program Ultimate Tag.
The coverage has also recruited former Australian cricket star turned Seven commentator Brad Hodge to its team. Hodge is a motorsport competitor in his own right and will add his flair behind the microphone.
Leading the commentary from inside the box will be Greg Rust, Matt Naulty and Richard Craill, supported by a new set of pit lane callers including former Supercars news breaker Chris Stubbs, Australian rally champion and SAS Australia star Molly Taylor, Jessica Dane, Jack Perkins and current Supercars driver and former Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds.
It will be a shift of roles for Reynolds, who will transition from being in front of the camera to behind the microphone.
The coverage will be led by ARGs executive producer of broadcast Andrew Janson and executive producer, Seven Motorsport, Anna Stone.
Managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport Lewis Martin said: “ARG offers motorsport lovers a great mix of racing categories and drivers as well as an unbeatable line-up of talent, from the commentary box to pit lane.
“We can’t wait to welcome a whole new generation of fans on January 25 for day one of a jam-packed year of motorsport on Seven.”
Matt Braid, CEO Australia Racing Group, added: “It feels like a long time coming, but ARG, our competitors and the Seven Sports team are really looking forward to showcasing some great racing action when we head to Tasmania in January.”
Seven Motorsport anchor Mark Beretta said: “It’s just fantastic that motorsport will return to the screens of Seven in such a big way in 2021. And what a great way to kick it all off down at Symmons Plains in January with such a strong, diverse group of categories including TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters and Trans Am. So much horsepower, so many great drivers and so much to look forward to.”