V8 Supercars has officially announced its condensed calendar for the 2016 season, with Malaysia set to host its first ever championship round.
As was widely speculated, the schedule features noticeably shorter breaks between races, with a four-week winter pause between Winton in May, and Darwin in June.
Other noticeable changes include the expected switch of Phillip Island from the back end of the season to the third championship event in April, while the Sydney 500 will be held on the last weekend in November, making the season slightly shorter.
The big news is the confirmation that the KL City Grand Prix in Malaysia has been included on the calendar, with a full field of V8s set to head to Kuala Lumpur for a championship round next August.
“We have a taken a close look at the calendar and come up with something that will be great for the teams, drivers and fans across Australia,” said V8 Supercars boss James Warburton.
“This more compact calendar delivers consistent and regular events throughout the season and expands the championship into Asia in what is a truly exciting development for the sport.
“We believe it will result in an even bigger following for our sport both locally and overseas with bigger crowds and our expanded television coverage on Fox Sports and Network Ten.
“A more condensed calendar will help build even more momentum and still provide adequate breaks for the teams and drivers.
“We have also moved the Coates Hire Sydney 500 forward to the end of November in what we expect will be a massive grand finale to the season.”
The Australian Grand Prix is once again on the schedule, but will continue to not be a points-paying round.
2016 V8 Supercars schedule
|1||Clipsal 500, South Australia||March 3-6|
|2||Symmons Plains, Tasmania||March 18-20|
|NC||Australian Grand Prix, Victoria||March 31-April 3|
|3||Phillip Island, Victoria||April 15-17|
|4||Barbagallo Raceway, Western Australia||May 6-8|
|5||Winton, Victoria||May 20-22|
|6||Hidden Valley, Northern Territory||June 17-19|
|7||Townsville 400, Queensland||July 8-10|
|8||Queensland Raceway, Queensland||July 22-24|
|9||KL City Grand Prix, Malaysia||August 12-14|
|10||Sydney Motorsport Park, New South Wales||August 26-28|
|11||Sandown 500, Victoria||September 16-18|
|12||Bathurst 1000, New South Wales||October 6-9|
|13||Gold Coast 600, Queensland||October 21-23|
|14||Pukekohe Park, New Zealand||November 4-6|
|15||Sydney 500, New South Wales||November 25-27|