Photo: Supercars

Mark Larkham re-joins Supercars media team as category admits sacking “a mistake”

This year’s Supercars Championship television coverage will see the return of pit lane pundit Mark Larkham after an off-season decision to part ways with the former team boss resulted in a backflip from the category.

In December last year, Supercars announced it would be parting ways with Larkham who had been a part of the pit lane reporting and technical analysis team on air for nearly a decade despite being a fan favourite for explaining complex regulations.

Heading in to the 2021 season with new broadcast partner Channel Seven, the axing of Larkham, affectionately known as ‘Larko” saw fans barrage social media, calling for his return to the paddock.

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said in his statement that Supercars listened to the fans and it became clear to see how important Larkham is to the overall product that is the category.

“We do listen, and it is clear how much the fans love Larko,” Seamer said.

“It was a mistake for us to part ways, but the outpouring of support from our fans proved we couldn’t carry on without him.

“It gives us great pride in knowing how strongly our fans care about Larko, and how much they care about Supercars.”

Larkham himself was humbled by the response, never acting bitter towards his former and now current employers, instead asking that the attention can now be focused on the upcoming championship.

“Like Supercars, I could not in good conscience ignore the will of the fans whose very participation has kept me in the business for most of my life; but at the end of the day, this is not about me, this is about the fans,” he said.

“The fans that love our sport, watch our telecasts, buy tickets and team merchandise; and keep the whole show alive. They spoke, Supercars listened and responded; kinda cool.

“So in a really good way, over Christmas you did put an enormous weight, not burden, on my shoulders, and Supercars gave me lots of time to consider my position, and I thank them for that.

“Add to that my deep love of our sport and the fact that Supercars, and Sean in particular, allowed me to agree a very clear pathway back in, where most importantly I can continue to do what I do, including bumble, fall, drop things and make mistakes.”

“We can now continue to enjoy that journey together in the years to come; I am genuinely enthused about what lay ahead in our championship,” he said.

“So to everyone that supported, spoke out, commented, created and signed petitions, and showed care for both myself and our sport, I say a very, very sincere thank you.

“I’ll say again, you have humbled me, deeply, forever, and I promise you I will not abuse the privilege you have now offered me.”

Round one of the 2021 Supercars Championship starts on February 26 at Mount Panorama, hosting the Bathurst 500 sprint round which will see the sport take on the Mountain in a sprint race format for the first time since 1996.