Next weekend’s Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint will feature a unique qualifying format, with both tyre compounds in use.
The Repco Supercars Championship will race at Albert Park on March 30-April 2 at the Australian Grand Prix.
For the first time ever, Supercars will race on a Thursday, with races to be held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Victorian racing debut of the new Gen3 Supercars will be conducted with two tyre compounds — Dunlop’s Hard and Super Soft tyres.
There will be 15-minute ARMOR ALL Qualifying sessions for each race — but two will be held on the Hard tyre, and two on Super Softs.
Thursday’s action will feature a whopping five sessions — two practice sessions, two qualifying and Race 3 of the 2023 championship.
Drivers will qualify for Races 3 and 4 on Thursday March 30, and for Races 5 and 6 on Saturday April 1.
Qualifying for Races 3 and 5 will be held on the Hard tyre, with drivers to use the Super Soft to set the grids for Races 4 and 6.
The qualifying sessions on Thursday and Saturday will be held in quick succession.
Another curveball facing teams is the prospect of time certain qualifying, given the busy nature of the weekend.
F1 and Supercars will be joined by Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Carrera Cup across the Melbourne event.
There’s plenty of potential for qualifying shocks — notably, Shane van Gisbergen started from the rear for the first race last year after being stung by a red flag.
Given drivers are mandated to use different compounds in the two sessions, there is potential for mixed grids should teams struggle for balance across the two tyres.
Friday’s action will be headlined by Race 5, with Saturday to features the Race 5 and 6 qualifying sessions, and Race 5.
The Supercars action will conclude with Race 6 on Sunday April 2, prior to the Formula 1 main event.
All four races will feature a compulsory pit stop, which may be taken after lap 2 of each race. Both tyre compounds must be used in each race.
Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2023: Session times
All times AEST
Thursday, March 30
Friday, March 31
Saturday, April 1
Sunday, April 2