Four rounds of the Dunlop Super2 Series will feature Friday races this season as part of efforts to boost the profile of Supercars’ second tier.
The seven-event series starts at this weekend’s Clipsal 500, where an expansion from two to three races will see a Sunday heat added to the traditional Friday and Saturday encounters.
Events later in the season at Symmons Plains, Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park will also now feature Friday races as part of a new four-race format.
While practice in Adelaide takes place on Thursday, the remaining three events with Friday races will have just a single 40 minute practice session prior to 20 minutes of qualifying.
The two-race format remains for street events in Townsville and Newcastle, which replaces Sydney Olympic Park as the season finale.
Sandown has meanwhile been reduced from three races to two in an effort to help the schedules of co-drivers doing double-duties in the main series.
As detailed last year, the 250km Bathurst race has been made a non-points scoring event in order to encourage teams to field wildcards in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
“Introducing a four-race format at selected rounds is a great step forward for our competitors,” Super2 category manager Paul Martin told Supercars.com.
“Racing on Friday at four events means that Super2 will form a significant component of the television broadcasts, providing race action for fans alongside the Supercars sessions.
“In total we have five more races than in 2016, providing the young stars of Super2 more opportunity than ever to develop and showcase their talents.
“The field we have is arguably the strongest we’ve seen since 2012, where Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, Scott Pye and Nick Percat battled it out.”
Super2 meanwhile continues to race on the previous generation hard compound Dunlop control tyre this year while the main series moves to a new construction.
The decision ensures a distinct technical difference between the two classes, limiting the advantage of data sharing for teams with cars in both series.
Twin-spring dampers remain prohibited in Super2 for the same reason, although Supashock dampers are now eligible for the first time since 2013.
Tyre allocations have been tweaked in conjunction with the format changes, with teams now allowed to take one of their two practice sets into the remainder of the weekend.
Two new sets of the hard compound tyre will continue to be provided for each weekend.
Race times listed are the minimum requirement