MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia — official release — V8SC photo — V8 Supercars has refined its formats — with the goal of maximum attack and multiple race winners featured in the release of the 2015 racing calendar.
Building on a season where all manufacturers have tasted success and multiple winners have been featured, V8 Supercars has made minor modifications to their event formats — which include two signature events returning to their customary race distance.
The Castrol Townsville 400 returns to its original 200km race format each day. The Clipsal 500 Adelaide and Sydney 500 at Sydney Olympic Park retain the 2x125km Saturday format, as daytime races.
The ITM 500 Auckland has returned to its traditional November date as a SuperSprint event.
The New Zealand event moves into a critical stage of the Championship immediately following the Pirtek Enduro Cup, into a clear sporting space and an ideal weather period.
Across the year there will be eight SuperSprint events that include two SuperSprint races on Saturday and the 200km Sunday race that featured this year.
The sharp Saturday sprint races are designed to encourage drivers to attack by alleviating the need to be conservative while trying to maintain tire life.
“Our research shows that the existing formats have been highly successful,” Warburton said. “The emphasis was on improving the racing product, and giving drivers the opportunity to attack at all times without external factors preventing them from being aggressive.”
Each SuperSprint event will include 120 minutes of Friday practice to incorporate team testing. Teams will be able to test at these eight SuperSprint events with one discretionary private test.
“It made sense that instead of testing away from the fans to combine Friday practice and allow teams the ability to adopt testing procedures as required,” Warburton said. “That achieves two key objectives: more V8 Supercars on track for the fans and reducing the high costs to teams of testing away from race meetings.”
Warburton confirmed that there would be no international events outside of New Zealand in 2015, but confirmed interest was high in several countries, with Asia the focus for 2016.
The 2015 season commences on February 7-8 with the free sydney.com V8 SuperTest at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday followed by a live, ad-free, full team and livery reveal on FOX SPORTS in High-Definition. A second test, autograph sessions, True Color Fan Track Walk and SuperShootout will all take place on Sunday.
The Sunday SuperShootout will feature each car, driver and team against each other across a shootout lap, pit stop for tyres and a closing lap, with the fastest time winning the contest; as a pointer towards the best prepared teams ahead of the 2015 Championship opener.
“It is a grand season opening launch, the style of which has never been seen in our sport,” Warburton said. “It’s about giving the teams more time for the most important test of the year and at the same time allowing maximum interaction and engagement with fans.”
2015 V8 Supercars Championship Calendar (Date — Event — Location — Type)
Feb. 7-8 — Sydney.com V8 Super Test — Sydney Motorsport Park — Test Session
Feb. 26 – Mar. 1 — Clipsal 500 Adelaide — Adelaide Street Circuit — Super Street
Mar. 12-15 — V8 Supercars Challenge — Albert Park Street Circuit — International Super Sprint **
Mar. 27-29 — Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint — Symmons Plains Raceway — Super Sprint
April 17-19 — Perth Super Sprint — Barbagallo Raceway — Super Sprint
May 15-17 — Winton Super Sprint — Winton Motor Raceway — Super Sprint
June 19-21 — SkyCity Triple Crown Darwin — Hidden Valley Raceway — Super Sprint
July 10-12 — Castrol Townsville 400 — Reid Park — Super Street
July 31 – Aug. 2 — Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint — Queensland Raceway — Super Sprint
Aug. 21-23 — Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint — Sydney Motorsport Park — Super Sprint
Sept. 11-13 — Wilson Security Sandown 500 — Sandown Raceway — Pirtek Enduro Cup
Oct. 8-11 — SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 — Mount Panorama — Pirtek Enduro Cup
Oct. 23-25 — Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 — Surfers Paradise — Pirtek Enduro Cup
Nov. 6-8 — ITM 500 Auckland — Pukekohe Park Raceway — Super Sprint
Nov. 20-22 — Phillip Island Super Sprint — Phillip Island Circuit — Super Sprint
Dec. 4-6 — Sydney 500 — Sydney Olympic Park — Super Street
** – non-championship event