New idea from the organizers of the V8 Supercars series as they announce a special award for three long-distance events. The new Endurance Cup events will be the Sandown 500, the Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 600.
The ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 is to be joined with the Sandown 500 and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 long distance classics following the introduction of the V8 Supercars Endurance Cup.
This year drivers will compete for the Endurance Cup across the three events, with accumulative points deciding the best drivers across the three long distance events.
It means drivers such as Finland's Mika Salo can fulfill his dream of a full endurance season of V8 Supercars. Salo won last year's ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 with Ford Performance Racing's Will Davison, afterwards saying his ultimate goal was to race all three endurance events.
The V8 Supercar Commission decided on the change to allow teams to plan their endurance season across all three races and allow for a thorough preparation.
"The Endurance Cup means that teams can choose one driver as their co-driver for all three events which allows them to train and plan for the longer stints," V8 Supercar Commission Chairman Mark Skaife said.
"These cars are not easy to drive on a one-off basis. While the Car of the Future will be more 'driver friendly' it's very difficult to transition into a race mode V8 Supercar with limited preparation.
"This way teams can spend the next eight months choosing and preparing the drivers they believe are best equipped across all three races."
The Endurance Cup will be decided at the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 as the 'grand final' of the long distance season. The points from all races will be added together, meaning either a single driver or a pairing will be crowned the Endurance Cup winners.
As the Endurance Cup finale, the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 is to be grown into a week-long celebration hosting family friendly activities, parades and other initiates across the Gold Coast, in line with the Queensland Governments tourism objectives.
"It is all about celebrating the entire event, getting families and fans to the Gold Coast and getting the community involved," V8 Supercar CEO David Malone said.
"The Endurance Cup is about enhancing fan experience by creating high quality and competitive racing along with a variety of off track activities for the family, party goer and die-hard fans."
This year's ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 takes place from October 25-27.