New formats add spice to 2018 season

  • 26/02/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Shake-ups to the Albert Park and Sydney Motorsport Park events highlight an otherwise stable line-up of formats for the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The full list of formats for has been published ahead of the season-opening Adelaide 500 in an extensively-overhauled Operations Manual.

Consistency is the key for the bulk of the calendar, with the popular SuperSprint format of a 120km heat on Saturday and a 200km race on Sunday unchanged.

SuperSprint rounds again take place at Symmons Plains, Barbagallo, Winton, Hidden Valley and Queensland Raceway, while new event Tailem Bend also sports the format.

As previously reported, two of the SuperSprints – Symmons Plains and Barbagallo – will receive a tweak to their qualifying structure in a bid to avoid congestion issues seen in recent years.

Sydney Motorsport Park, meanwhile, moves to a new SuperNight layout, in which practice, qualifying and racing will all take place on Saturday August 4, following support action on the Friday.

Albert Park’s elevation to championship status has led to an increase in racing action, with two 30-minute sprints and two twilight, 120km pitstop races scheduled across the four days.

Announced late last year, the Albert Park Supercars round will be known as the Coates Hire Melbourne 400, with the weekend’s highest points scorer awarded the Larry Perkins Trophy.

Adelaide, Phillip Island and Newcastle continue with their 2x250km format, with Townsville and Pukekohe remaining 2x200km.

Pukekohe meanwhile receives a Sunday Top 10 Shootout, lifting the number of Shootouts during the year to eight.

The PIRTEK Enduro Cup is unchanged for a sixth-straight year, comprising the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and the 2x300km Gold Coast 600.

Although the tyre itself has changed this year with a move back to the 2016 construction, the way Dunlop’s two compounds are spread throughout the year remains

The soft compound will again be used for Adelaide, Phillip Island, Bathurst and Pukekohe, with the super-soft at every other event.

Summary: 2018 Supercars event formats

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